Charles Barclay names his price for joining LIV Golf and the fury that accompanies it

While golfers vacillate over their negotiations with LIV Golf and often worry about questions about the league, Charles Barkley hasn’t taken such a path.

The Basketball Hall of Famer and TNT announcer is as close to his flirtation with the controversial Saudi Arabia-backed golf league as he does most topics – frankly.

Barkley, who has acknowledged that he is in negotiations with LIV Golf and plays in the league’s New Jersey Pro-Am this week at Trump Golf Course, spoke with The Dan Patrick Show Monday about the talks. He set his price for joining the league as a broadcaster while acknowledging that it could mark the end of his TNT career. Then the league gave an ultimatum.

So what would it take for Barclay to join LIV Golf?

Barkley referred to LIV Golf’s reported “crazy” payouts secured by the league’s top names including $200 million for Phil Mickelson and $150 million for Dustin Johnson.

“If they give me something crazy, I’ll take it too,” Barclay said to Patrick.

When asked what kind of show would secure his services, Barkley thought about it but stopped short of naming a specific number.

“Given how much I earn now, it would take too many for me to give up my life now,” Barkley continued. “I wouldn’t give up my life for… I don’t like talking about how much money I make.”

Patrick then phrased the question in a way that prompted Barclay to acknowledge a specific number, asking him if he would sign three times his hypothetical annual income of $20 million, a number Barclay confirmed was close to accurate.

“If they triple it, next time I’m on your show, the first best question is ‘Charles, where are we partying tonight?'” “That should be your first question if they triple what I am doing now.”

So there you have it. Charles Barkley would take part in LIV Golf if they offered him $60 million a year – or somewhere soon. Will it take less? did not say.

Barclay then tells Patrick that he needs to get an offer soon, or else the discussions are over.

“I’ll give him a deadline,” Barclay said of LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman. “The deadline is Thursday… I won’t keep TNT in limbo, to be honest with you. I don’t think it’s fair to them…

“They got a lot of toys from Judy to play there on Thursday. I’m not going to be just a show pony. I’ve got all the bar for a week. Don’t waste my time. I’m not going to waste your time. But when I leave NJ Thursday night, if I don’t have a show in the At hand, it’s over.”

Will LIV Golf meet Charles Barclay’s asking price? (Shana Lockwood/Reuters)

A charged decision for Barkley

While Barkley has been negotiating publicly, he’s making one thing clear. He has a price for joining a league fully funded by a Saudi government with a track record of human rights abuses. That the league is shelling out such exorbitant numbers to attract top talent suggests that it is in fact a “sportswashing” effort to legitimize a regime on the world stage rather than a profit-focused enterprise.

It’s a tactic that’s been used on the global sports scene before. Watch Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime and the 1936 Olympics. See, frequently, the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and 2022. Watch the upcoming World Cup in Qatar which is said to be actively involved in human rights atrocities to build the facilities that will stage the Games.

Barclay dismissed the comment surrounding LIV Golf, criticizing critics as engaging in “selective fury”.

“Listen, they make up words, like blood money and sports wash,” Barclay told the New York Post last week. ‘I said, ‘We’ve all taken a friend and we’ve all washed up a sporting thing, so I don’t like those words, to be honest with you.’

“If you play a professional sport, you’re taking kind of money from a not-so-great cause.”

The NBA’s relationship with China is often taken as an example that Barkley cites. The association actively deals with a country that is also known for its active record of human rights violations. The NBA and its players who do business with China are under fair criticism.

Meanwhile, the US government is conducting active business with the Saudis as evidenced by President Joe Biden’s visit to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman last week amid soaring oil prices. The US government holds Mohammed bin Salman responsible for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

There are valid criticisms that can be found nearby. There is also a notable difference between the NBA’s relationship with China and Leaf Golf’s relationship with Saudi Arabia. There is no NBA just to support China. Meanwhile, LIV Golf exists as a mechanism to improve Saudi Arabia’s standing on the world stage through paychecks signed by the Saudi government. And that’s the core of the outrage targeting LIV Golf.

If Barkley signs up for these salaries, he also shares the ramifications accompanying his decision. This meant the possible end of his stint as a beloved broadcaster in the NBA and which defined his post-playing career. This means moving from the forefront of sports commentary to a niche league that doesn’t have a broadcast deal. This means alienating a large part of his fan base.

And he appears at peace with all that. As long as the price is right.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: