Phil Mickelson has been criticized by families whose members died 9/11. Namely, Saudi Arabia was accused of being an accomplice to Bin Laden, so Terry Strada, the chair of 9/11 Families United, had something to say to Mickelson.
“Whether it was the appeal of millions of dollars of hard cash, or just the opportunity to prosecute your professional grievances with the PGA, you have sold us out. This is a betrayal not only of us, but of all your countrymen.”
– he said, as quoted by skysports. Phil Mickelson reacted to Strada's statement: “I would say to the Strada family, I would say to everyone that has lost loved ones, lost friends on 9/11 that I have deep, deep empathy for them.
I can't emphasise that enough,” he said. “I have the deepest of sympathy and empathy for them.”
There are many who have criticized Mickelson (one of them is Rory McIlroy) and others who have decided to play at LIV Golf, but Mickelson still has respect for them.
“I certainly respect Rory,” he said. “I thought what a great finish yesterday and great accomplishment and what a career he has had. I certainly respect him. I respect his ideas. I respect all the players that choose to stay on the PGA Tour.
“I certainly think extremely highly of many of the players on the PGA Tour and their right to their own decisions. “I gave as much back to the PGA Tour and the game of golf that I could throughout my 30 years here, and through my accomplishments on the course I've earned a lifetime membership.
I intend to keep that and then choose going forward which events to play and not.” He explained his reasons why he decided to take part in such a tournament. “I think that there's an obvious incredible financial commitment, but more than that – for all the players involved and everyone involved, there are other factors that with fewer tournaments, it allows me to have more balance in my life.
It allows me to do things that are off the golf course I've always wanted to do. “I find that as I prioritise those that are important to me, people that are important to me going forward, this allows me to have more time with them, be more present, and to share more life experiences outside of golf.”