Barkley says ‘100%’ he’ll talk deal with controversial LIV Golf

Sports

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, NEVADA – JULY 9: Former NBA player Charles Barkley tees off on the 15th hole during round one of the American Century Championship at Edgewood Tahoe South golf course on July 9, 2020 in South Lake Tahoe, Nevada. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

(NewsNation) — NBA Hall-of-Famer Charles Barkley is known for many things, least of which, oddly enough, might be his legendary might on the basketball court.

The boisterous basketball star turned media personality has never been bashful about anything, especially money. Nor has the “Chuckster” ever shied away from talking about his golf game. And that is why the LIV Golf league, with its deep pockets, is trying to lure Barkley to its ranks for a media role.

“I am 100% going to meet with LIV,” Barkley said of the controversial Saudi-funded golf league. “Everyone is calling it blood money. Let me be clear: All money is blood money. We all take blood money.”

If Barkley takes his huge personality (and unorthodox golf swing) to LIV, he will not be the first major star to do so.

ST ANDREWS, SCOTLAND – JULY 15: Dustin Johnson of the United States reacts at the 5th tee during Day Two of The 150th Open at St Andrews Old Course on July 15, 2022 in St Andrews, Scotland. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Golf powerhouses such as Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka have already exited the PGA Tour to join LIV, reportedly raking in extremely lucrative deals to do so.

LIV has been cloaked in controversy since its inception, thanks to the league’s nearly $2 billion in funding from the Saudi government. Human rights activists and 9/11 advocacy groups have been critical of athletes who have made the jump to LIV, citing the Saudi government’s checkered history of human rights abuses.

Not all golf stars have been quick to jump on board with LIV for huge paychecks, however.

Tiger Woods turned down a massive offer from LIV, and PGA Tour fan favorite Rory McIlroy has not been shy in voicing his displeasure with LIV and the PGA Tour pros who have led an exodus to it.

ST ANDREWS, SCOTLAND – JULY 15: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland tees off on the 6th hole during Day Two of The 150th Open at St Andrews Old Course on July 15, 2022 in St Andrews, Scotland. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Before the start of this week’s 150th British Open at St. Andrews, Scotland, where LIV golfers and PGA pros are competing, McIlroy lashed out at the LIV and those who joined the league.

“In my opinion … there’s no room in the golf world for LIV Golf. Let’s put it that way,” McIlroy said in a press conference. “I don’t agree with what LIV is doing. If LIV went away tomorrow, I’d be super happy. My stance hasn’t softened on that.”

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