BEDMINSTER, NJ — Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley, who gained popularity in his post-playing days for his work as an analyst for TNT and as a corporate pitchman, has not yet received a formal offer to join LIV Golf in a broadcast role , he said on Thursday.
“I can’t keep TNT in limbo. It’s not fair,” Barkley told ESPN ahead of his appearance at a Pro-Am event at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster, site of the third LIV Tour event.
“It’s not just them [TNT] worried, my sponsors are worried. I heard about Subway, Capital One, Dick’s Sporting Goods. At some point I have to make a decision, plain and simple.”
Barkley doesn’t appear to be making a decision at this time. He said Thursday that despite meeting LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman and his willingness to receive an offer to work for LIV Golf as part of the broadcast team, no offer has yet been made.
“They didn’t offer me a contract. They asked me if I was interested and I said yes,” Barkley said. “I met up with Greg and said yes to him. I’m in a win-win situation. If they offer me something good, that’s great. If they don’t, I have a great job at TNT.”
Former President Donald Trump also attended the pro-am at his golf course in northern New Jersey on Thursday.
The golf course’s proximity to the site of the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center attacks has drawn sharp criticism from the families of the September 11 victims, who held a press conference earlier this week and are planning another Friday.
“This event follows members of 9/11 Justice sending former President Trump a letter earlier this month expressing the extreme pain, frustration and anger they feel at his decision to be passed by Saudi Arabia to host its club’s sponsored league in New Jersey in the shadow of Ground Zero,” the organization said in a press release earlier this week.
“I have sympathy for the 9/11 families,” Barkley told ESPN. “This is probably the worst day in our country’s history.”
Trump told ESPN on Thursday, “Unfortunately, no one has gotten to the bottom of 9/11, and they should have.”
A spokesman for the 9/11 Justice Group said recently declassified FBI documents had further proven Saudi Arabia’s role in the attacks, which the Saudi government has consistently denied.
“I’ve known these people for a long time,” Trump said of the LIV Tour’s Saudi Arabian backers. “They’ve been friends of mine for a long time. They’ve invested in a lot of American companies. They own big stakes in many, many American companies and honestly, what they’re doing for the Gulf is so great. What they’re doing, it’s so great, what we do for the players. Salaries will go up a lot.”
Barkley said he doesn’t understand why people are angry at golfers and why more outrage isn’t directed at those companies that, like LIV Golf, receive financial backing from the Public Investment Fund Saudi Arabia.
“Everyone makes up words like sportswear and dirty money. I think listen, when you play sports, we all take money from sources that you might not love or appreciate,” Barkley said. “I don’t want to be a hypocrite. These guys [LIV golfers] try to earn a living. I wish them only the best. The same goes for my friends on the PGA Tour. But everyone is trying to play the moral card in some way.
“For some reason everyone wants to point outrage,” Barkley said. “I will never allow that under my supervision.”
LIV Golf on Wednesday announced plans to expand to 14 events in 2023, where 48 golfers will compete for an unprecedented $405 million in prize money. LIV Golf will also host additional tournaments in 2023 as part of its LIV Golf International Series, launched this year through a $300 million investment in the Asian Tour.
“The PGA, as you know, has not been loved by many players for a long time,” Trump told ESPN. “Now they have an alternative. And no one ever knew there would be a gold rush like this.”
https://www.espn.com/golf/story/_/id/34307664/charles-barkley-says-waiting-broadcasting-offer-meeting-liv-golf-ceo-greg-norman Charles Barkley says he’s still waiting on a broadcasting offer after meeting with LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman