Charles Barkley slams critics with “selective outrage” over LIV Golf after meeting with Greg Norman on potential broadcast deal
After meeting with LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman on Wednesday, Charles Barkley is set to participate in the LIV Golf Pro-Am taking place at the tournament next week at Trump National in Bedminster, New Jersey.
“I’m going to play in the Pro-Am,” Charles Barkley told The New York Post.
Norman and Barkley had dinner on Wednesday night in Atlanta to discuss the possibility of Barkley accepting a LIV Golf broadcasting deal. According to reports, Greg Norman is prepared to make Charles Barkley an offer. Still, Barkley is under contract with Turner Broadcasting (TNT) for three years, $30 million.
Adding Barkley to LIV Golf would be a major step in legitimizing the highly scrutinized PGA Tour competitor. Earlier this week, longtime CBS, NBC, and Golf Channel broadcaster David Feherty agreed to join the LIV Golf broadcasting team.
Barkley said he believes there is “selective outrage” in critics going after LIV Golf and feels it would be hypocritical not to consider being a part of the new tour if the money is right.
“In a perfect scenario, I would love to do both,” Barkley told The Post. “I don’t know how Turner’s sponsors are going to feel about it. I know there is going to be some blowback.”
“I told [Norman],” Barkley said. “’Listen, they are making up words, like ‘blood money’ and ‘sports washing.’ I said, ‘We have all taken ‘blood money’ and we all have ‘sports washed’ something so I don’t like those words, to be honest with you.’
“If you are in pro sports, you are taking some type of money from not a great cause.”
When asked if the NBA’s relationship with China was an example he was pointing to, Barkley responded, “Yeah, I don’t want to practice selective outrage.”
As a follow-up, Barkley was asked if it is different if you are basically receiving a check from the Saudi government.
“Now, that’s semantics,” Barkley said. “I’m a Nike guy, also, so I’m not going to do that thing where I pick and choose what I’m outraged about, where my money comes from. I just don’t think that is fair. I think that makes you a hypocrite.
“And let’s be fair, all these golf tours have played in Saudi Arabia and China. That was my point.”
Needless to say, the PGA Tour has a major problem on their hands.
Credit to Barkley, who has always been straightforward and honest with his own opinions in the media. He does have a point when it comes to China and the NBA, as well as a laundry list of advertisers such as Nike, who has been criticized heavily for their production practices in China as well.
Barkley hopes that he can do both LIV Golf and NBA on TNT, but no deal has been confirmed as of this morning. When asked about the potential loss of several key endorsement deals, here’s what Barkley told the New York Post.
“What I told Subway, Capital One and Dick’s Sporting Goods, I said, ‘Wait a minute. I haven’t signed anything. I haven’t met with the guy. Let’s let this thing play out before you all call me all upset.’
“Between the number you just mentioned [$10 million per year] and all my commercials, for me to risk all of that, it would have to be some serious money thrown my way.”
It will be interesting to see how all this plays out. LIV Golf has endless amounts of money and can easily overpay for Barkley with hopes of securing a broadcast deal for their events. It remains unclear if Barkley will be able to do both the NBA on TNT and LIV Golf.
As we all know, The PGA Tour has already ruled against LIV players participating in their events.