NBA icon in ‘blood money’ discussion regarding LIV Golf deal

NBA icon Charles Barkley has added his voice to the discussion around the LIV Golf series’ moral standing after saying he’d be open to accepting a job as a pundit.

Greg Norman, the CEO of LIV, with whom Barkley recently had dinner, he claimed, would probably make an offer for him to join the broadcast crew for the show.

It happens when Norman escalates his verbal confrontation with Brandel Chamblee, a Golf Channel pundit, over Chamblee’s criticism of the series, which is allegedly supported by a $3 billion Saudi Arabian fund.

The member of the Basketball Hall of Fame announced to the New York Post that he would compete in the pro-am division of the upcoming LIV event at the Trump National in New Jersey, making the startling observation that many people employed in professional sports probably benefited from money raised “not form a great cause.”

Additionally, Barkley stated that Turner Sports sponsors, for whom he hosts Inside the NBA since 2000, would probably be concerned.

Additionally, Barkley stated that Turner Sports sponsors, for whom he hosts Inside the NBA since 2000, would probably be concerned.

His own sponsors have already contacted him, but the former Phoenix Suns and Philadelphia 76ers star stated nothing was finalized.

“I told (Norman), ‘Listen, they are making up words, like ‘blood money’ and ‘sports washing.’” Barkley said.

“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.”

Barkley stated that he thought Norman and LIV were sincere in their pursuit of a TV rights agreement and that ideally he would accept a future LIV offer and complete the final three years of his $30 million contract with Turner.

The NBA legend said it was “semantics” to claim he was employed by the Saudi government, citing the league’s historical ties to China as proof that sports are not always innocent.

“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,” Barkley said.

“And let’s be fair, all these golf tours have played in Saudi Arabia and China. That was my point.”

LIV Golf closes player books ahead of further announcements
While newly crowned British Open champion Cameron Smith is yet to confirm whether he will jump ship to LIV Golf, CEO Norman says their player list is closed.

The Saudi-backed series, which rivals the PGA Tour, is reportedly chasing world No.2 Smith and fellow Australians Adam Scott and Marc Leishman.

Henrik Stenson, a Swedish golfer who was immediately relieved of his Ryder Cup captaincy, was signed by LIV this week, but there hasn’t been much activity on the Australian front.

Norman stated that they were no longer signing players but he would not say whether his countrymen had defected.

“The rumours are true – we’ve closed up shop, as far as our players are concerned,” he told Australian Golf Digest.

“We’re in the process of kicking the league off next year and we’re a full year ahead of schedule.

“There will be more player announcements before then, but we’re set on the maximum amount of players.

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“It’s interesting, we’re still getting calls from agents of top-40 players in the world wanting to join LIV but it’s too late now.

“What it tells me though, is what we’re doing is very appealing to the world’s best players.”

The next step, according to Norman, was to win over the Official World Golf Ranking and the four major tournaments in golf.

He believed they were in a good position to gain ranking points, which would strengthen the credibility of their competitions.

“The next, most important step outside of the players is getting OWGR points for our tournaments,” Said Norman.

 

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