Phil Mickelson loses sponsor over Saudi Arabia comments
Phil Mickelson has lost a sponsor over his comments about Saudi Arabia.
A group in Saudi Arabia is looking to use funds to attract professional golfers for a new golf league they are aspiring to start. The PGA Tour warned golfers they could be banned if they left for the competing league.
Mickelson has been the most candid of golfers regarding the Saudi league. He recently stated that the league has approached all the top 100 golfers in the world and asked them to sign non-disclosure agreements.
Mickelson drew attention for admitting the Saudis were dangerous people to get involved with and that they have a negative history with human rights. However, he said he would still use them as leverage to get the PGA Tour to possibly make some changes.
“We know they killed (Washington Post columnist Jamal) Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights. They execute people over there for being gay,” Mickelson told Alan Shipnuck. “Knowing all of this, why would I even consider it? Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates.”
Mickelson issued an apology on Tuesday after his comments received attention and criticism for fellow players.
In his statement, Mickelson said he was giving his sponsors the opportunity to reconsider their relationship with him.
Phil Mickelson issues an apology statement and says he “needs some time away to prioritize the ones I love most and work on being the man I want to be.” pic.twitter.com/NCsCpOIHli
— Geoff Shackelford (@GeoffShac) February 22, 2022
KPMG decided to end its agreement with Mickelson.
Statement from Phil Mickelson’s longtime sponsor KPMG:
“KPMG U.S. and Phil Mickelson have mutually agreed to end our sponsorship effective immediately. We wish him the best.”
— Kendall Baker (@kendallbaker) February 22, 2022
KPMG is a global accounting firm.
You’ll note the hypocrisy in KPMG having business firms in Saudi Arabia, but cutting ties with Mickelson over his comments about Saudi Arabia. Perhaps the company wanted to end the relationship and this gave them an opportunity to do so.