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Sept. 11 families protest Saudi-backed LIV: ‘Stench of blood money’

BEDMINSTER, N.J. — At a quick glance, the group of about 50 people clustered around a busy intersection in front of a swell of TV cameras three miles from Trump National Golf Club Bedminster, site of the LIV Golf tournament that teed off on Friday morning, looked like supporters of the course’s namesake and former President.

But with the words 9/11 Justice stitched across their hats, and with a message that was loud and clear, it was painfully obvious they are not fans of Donald Trump or the controversial Saudi-backed league that has torn the professional golf landscape and angered family members of those killed in the September 11 terrorist attacks. With Ground Zero less than 50 miles away, and 750 New Jersey residents killed in the 2001 attacks, emotions were high as some of the biggest names in golf prepared to tee off just down the street.

Instead, it was the family members of those who were killed that awful day who did the teeing off.

“How much money does it take to turn your back on your country, on the American people?” asked Julia Scauso. “According to certain individuals such as Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson and Donald Trump, that amount of money is a few hundred million dollars. The 9/11 families would give any amount of money to see our loved ones again, just to have one last hug, one conversation, one more round of golf.”

A group of protesters for "9/11 justice" hold a press conference in Bedminster in response to Donald Trump hosting a LIV golf event at his club.
A group of protesters for “9/11 Justice” hold a press conference in Bedminster in response to Donald Trump hosting a LIV golf event at his club.
Daniel William McKnight

Scauso is the daughter of New York City firefighter Dennis Scauso, who died when the South Tower of the World Trade Center collapsed. He was 46.

“We’re appalled,” said 9/11 Justice founder Brett Eagleson, whose father, John Bruce Eagleson, was working on the 17th floor in the South Tower and also died. “When I think about my dad, and I hear the thousands of other stories, and I see these golfers dodge questions, put their head in the sand and not want to address our issues and just say golf is for the greater good, or I’m doing this for my family, my dad went to work to provide for his family that day and got blown away.

“If we can’t get a golfer to look us in the eye and say they’re doing it for the money, and they don’t give a s–t about Saudi Arabia, they’re cowards.”

Earlier in the week, players were asked what they would say to survivors and family members of those who died on September 11.

Their responses were as flimsy as a sheet of newspaper.

“My heart goes out to all of those who suffered a loss and been impacted by 9/11,” Paul Casey said. “I don’t have words to describe the pain and sadness behind that, I’ve gotta go do a photo shoot.”

Said Henrik Stenson: “Yeah, I think we can just say that our hearts go out to anyone who lost a loved one in that terrible tragedy. That’s all we can say, really.”

Jay Winnick, whose brother, Glenn, was a volunteer EMT and died at the World Trade Center that horrific day, threw a hard verbal jab in response.

“This utterly disturbing stench of blood money is sure to follow you for the rest of your days,” he said. “These blood-money soaked tournaments called LIV Golf? More like death golf.”

A protester listens to a press conference held by "9/11 justice."
A protester listens to a press conference held by “9/11 Justice.”
Daniel William McKnight

Meanwhile, several passers-by honked their horns in support of the protesters. One man, however, shouted “Trump won!” as he drove by.

Eagleson also addressed reports that 9/11 Justice was newly formed, put together to combat LIV Golf in support of the PGA Tour, which has taken a hard-line stance by suspending any players who have ditched the PGA Tour for LIV.

“I read that this organization was just created, that we came onto the stage a month ago,” Eagleson said. “Ask my wife and kids if this just started a month ago. See our appearances on Fox News in 2012, 2013.”

Meanwhile, Neptune Township, N.J., firefighter Frank Sutphin, said Friday that he used to be a big supporter of Trump. Not anymore after this latest endeavor with Saudi-backed LIV Golf, which is bankrolled by the country’s sovereign wealth fund. Recently declassified documents have also revealed Saudi Arabia’s connection to the 9/11 attacks, though Trump said Thursday on ESPN, “Well, nobody’s gotten to the bottom of 9/11 unfortunately, and they should have.”

The message Sutphin had for Trump and the rest of the players in the field this week?

“I was a Trumpist, and excuse my language, but you’re an a–hole,” he said. “And sports, I don’t watch anymore. They all sell out.”

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