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Auchter's Art: No good deed goes unpunished

 drawing of three people, one holding a sign, two shaking hands
John Auchter
For Michigan Radio

If I were Dan Gilbert and Rocket Mortgage, I'd be more than a little upset. Here they have invested a lot of time, money, and effort into being a good corporate citizen, particularly in Detroit. As the lead sponsor of the Rocket Mortgage Classic, an annual Professional Golfers' Association of America (PGA) tour event at the Detroit Golf Club, Rocket Mortgage has brought considerable esteem and economic benefit to an often maligned community. But it seems no good deed goes unpunished.

Because in a stunning move, the PGA — after furiously battling new rival LIV Golf and its Saudi Arabia Sovereign Wealth Fund money fountain — suddenly and unilaterally declared a merger with its self same evil enemy. Didn't ask its players, didn't ask its sponsors. Just did it.

It's clear that the Saudi government is using its enormous reserves of oil money to buy into a popular sport like golf in an effort to improve its public image, a practice known as "sportswashing." It's nothing new — buying the rights to host the Olympics and World Cups have been very popular among authoritarian regimes for years. It's just a little unsettling to see how quickly (and with no regard for others) that the PGA caved.

Side note for those in my demographic (middle-aged guys): Yes, I know I missed a golden opportunity to make a Caddyshack reference: "Pick up that blood!" But as hard as it is to believe, not everybody has an encyclopedic knowledge of that movie. (So you'll get nothing and like it!)

John Auchter is a freelance political cartoonist. His views are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Michigan Radio, its management, or its license holder, the University of Michigan.

Since 1995 John has created Michigan-based editorial cartoons for the Grand Rapids Business Journal, the Grand Rapids Press, and MLive Newspapers. His cartoons are currently featured at MichiganPublic.org and are syndicated to newspapers through the Michigan Press Association. John is an active member of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. You can view an archive of his editorial work and other cartoons at Auchtoon.com.
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