Mounting pressure on The United States to address its relationship with Saudi Arabia following the disappearance of Washington Post journalist and United States resident Jamal Khashoggi appears to be having a ripple effect.
A new report published by IJR claims United States Senators are urging WWE to “pause” its upcoming Crown Jewel event in light of kidnapping and murder accusations made by Turkish leaders. The report furthers that because WWE has ties to the White House with Linda McMahon, the company should reevaluate its relationship with the country.
“Because [Linda McMahon] is part of the president’s cabinet […] the administration really should give it some thought and maybe even prevail upon them not doing it,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.).
“I’d hope that they would be rethinking their relationship with the kingdom especially with respect to events coming up in the next weeks like [WWE Crown Jewel],” Murphy added. “This is a brazen assault on the freedom of the press and a slap in the face to the United States, if this murder occurred as it seems it did.”
Senator Murphy is not the only member of Congress who has voiced an opinion on WWE’s relationship with Saudi Arabia, as Senator Lindsey Graham feels “there should be a pause,” as it pertains to WWE holding an event the country. “I want a complete rethinking of our relationship,” Graham added.
Fans might argue that a non-political entity such as WWE should be exempt from echoing any type of foreign policy adopted by The United States as it pertains to Saudi Arabia, but Senator Bob Menendez reiterated sentiments similar to that of Chris Murphy concerning Linda McMahon.
“Private enterprise is private enterprise, different than a governmental entity,” said Menendez. “But because [Linda McMahon] is part of the president’s cabinet, it falls into the grey area where the administration really should give it some thought and maybe even prevail upon them not doing it.”
As of this writing, the WWE Crown Jewel event remains scheduled to take place on November 2nd in Riyadh, and when asked for comment on the status of the PPV, WWE issued a statement noting “we are currently monitoring the situation”.