WWE’s scheduled Crown Jewel event in Saudi Arabia on November 2 is currently the focus of various media outlets this week, including a report by CNBC.
The article, along with other media, have pointed out the sudden disappearance of Saudi national and United States resident Jamal Khashoggi, a journalist for the Washington Post. Khashoggi went missing last week after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Turkish authorities are claiming Khashoggi, a vocal critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s regime, was murdered by Saudi agents. Saudi officials from Riyadh have denied the claim, stating Khashoggi left the consulate shortly after he arrived last week.
Turkish authorities told the Washington Post they have audio recordings proving Khashoggi was “killed and dismembered at the behest of the Saudi government” inside the consulate in Turkey, noting he was detained by a Saudi security team upon entering.
When contacted for comment about the current situation involving Khashoggi, a WWE representative issued a brief statement this week.
“We are currently monitoring the situation.”
Sports Illustrated is featuring a quote from New Jersey Democrat Bob Menendez, who called on the Trump administration and Linda McMahon about the situation.
“Private enterprise is private enterprise, different than a governmental entity…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.”
Democrat Chris Murphy of Connecticut also commented on the situation.
“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 [Crown Jewel].”
WWE came to terms on a multi-million dollar deal with Saudi Arabia, in what was described as a “10-year strategic multiplatform partnership in support of Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia’s social and economic reform program.”
As reported earlier this week, Crown Jewel was moved to a new location from King Fahd International Stadium to the much smaller King Saud University Stadium in Riyadh. That stadium houses around 20,000 seats, compared to the 68,000 seats at King Fahd.