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Barkley waits on LIV offer, in ‘win-win situation’

2: 13 PM ET

  • John BarrESPN.com

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      • Joined ESPN in June 2003
      • Winner: 2013 Peabody Award; 2011 Edward R. Murrow Award/Video Investigative Reporting
      • Covers breaking news, investigative pieces and human interest features

BEDMINSTER, N.J. — Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley, who has enjoyed tremendous popularity in his post-playing days through his are an analyst for TNT and a corporate pitchman, has yet to get a formal offer to become listed on LIV Golf in a broadcasting role, he said Thursday.

“I cannot keep TNT in limbo. That isn’t fair,” Barkley told ESPN before his appearance in a pro-am event at Trump National DRIVER Bedminster, the website of the 3rd LIV Tour event.

“Not merely are they [TNT] concerned, my sponsors are worried. I’ve heard from Subway, Capital One, Dick’s SHOE. At some time I’ll have to decide, basically.”

At the moment, it could appear Barkley does not have a decision to create. He said Thursday that despite ending up in LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman and expressing his receptiveness to get an offer to work with LIV Golf within its broadcasting crew, no offer has yet been made.

“They haven’t offered me a contract. They asked me easily was interested and I said yes,” Barkley said. “I met with Greg and I told him yes. I’m in a win-win situation. Should they offer me something good, that’s great. Should they don’t, I’ve got an excellent job at TNT.”

Former President Donald Trump was also taking part in Thursday’s pro-am at his course in northern NJ.

The proximity of the course to the website of the planet Trade Center attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has drawn sharp criticism from the household members of 9/11 victims, who held a news conference earlier this week and intend to hold a different one Friday.

“This event will come in the wake of members of 9/11 Justice sending former President Trump a letter earlier this month expressing the extreme pain, frustration and anger they feel due to his decision to host the Saudi-sponsored league at his club in NJ in the shadows of Ground Zero,” the business said in a release earlier this week.

“I’ve sympathy for the 9/11 families,” Barkley told ESPN. “It’s most likely the worst day in the annals of our country.”

Said Trump to ESPN on Thursday: “Nobody’s reached underneath of 9/11, unfortunately, plus they must have.”

A spokesman for the 9/11 Justice group said recently declassified FBI documents further proved Saudi Arabia’s role in the attacks, something the Saudi government has consistently denied.

“I’ve known these folks for a long period,” Trump said of the LIV Tour’s Saudi Arabian financial backers. “They are friends of mine for a long period. They’ve committed to many American companies. They own big percentages of several, many American companies and, frankly, what they’re doing for golf is indeed great. What they’re doing for the players is indeed great. The salaries are likely to go way up.”

Barkley said he doesn’t realize why folks are angry at the golfers and just why more outrage was not directed toward those companies that, like LIV Golf, receive financial backing from the general public Investment Fund Saudi Arabia.

“Everybody’s creating words, like, sportswashing and dirty money. I’m like, listen, in the event that you play sports, most of us take money from some sources you will possibly not love or appreciate,” Barkley said. “I don’t wish to be a hypocrite. This business [LIV golfers] want to earn a living. I wish them only the best. Ditto with my friends on the PGA Tour. But everybody is merely kinda like attempting to play the moral card.

“For reasons uknown, everyone really wants to place selective outrage,” Barkley said. “I’m never likely to let that happen on my watch.”

LIV Golf on Wednesday announced plans to expand in 2023 to 14 events, with 48 golfers competing for an unprecedented $405 million in purses. LIV Golf will stage additional tournaments in 2023 through its LIV Golf International Series, that was launched this season by way of a $300 million investment in the Asian Tour.

“The PGA had not been loved by way of a large amount of the players, you may already know, for a long period,” Trump told ESPN. “Now they will have an alternative solution. And nobody would’ve ever known whatever there is going to be considered a gold rush such as this.”

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