Charles Barkley To Clay Travis: Criticism Surrounding LIV Golf Has ‘Pissed Me Off’: OutKick Exclusive

The seemingly daily criticism surrounding the upstart LIV Golf Invitational Series, its golfers and anyone linked to the Saudi-backed league, has NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley feeling “pissed off.”

In an exclusive interview to OutKick, Barkley, who entertained joining the league as a commentator, sat down with OutKick founder Clay Travis and sounded off on the criticism he and others have received for their association with LIV.

“Some of this LIV stuff has really pissed me off, to be honest with you. People use a word like ‘sportswashing,’ ‘blood money,’ and that really pisses me off,” Barkley said when asked by Travis the last time somebody said something about him that genuinely pissed him off. “These guys have the right to make money any way they want to.”

Barkley sat down with Clay after both participated in Thursday’s Pro-Am from Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. The Pro-Am was sandwiched in between a Wednesday evening “Welcome Party” in NYC and this weekend’s LIV event which commenced this morning.

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“And I understand the 9/11 people,” Barkley added. “They probably have a legitimate gripe because it’s something that happened that’s personal to them. But (when I’m) reading some of these other articles, I say, ‘Well, wait a minute. You guys don’t even give a shit about shit that’s happening in the United States!”

Clay Travis Charles Barkley
Charles Barkley plays his shot from the 16th tee at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster on July 28, 2022, in Bedminster, New Jersey. (Photo by Chris Trotman/LIV Golf via Getty Images)

Barkley continued: “And all of sudden you’re all worried about what’s happening in Saudi Arabia.”

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That, in particular seems to irk the 59-year-old Barkley, an 11-time All-Star and current TNT NBA analyst, the most.

“I don’t like “selective outrage” [from the media] as you grab your iPhone that’s made in China,” Barkley told Travis. “You guys are killing me…I’m not gonna let you guys bad mouth these (LIV golfers).”

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Charles Barkley reacts as he walks up the fifth hole during the Pro-Am prior to the LIV Golf Invitational (Photo by Charles Laberge/LIV Golf via Getty Images).

“I played in the NBA for 16 years, I’ve been on TV for almost 21 years. We’ve been working with China for almost 40 years,” Barkley said. “Secondly, I’m a Nike guy. This notion that I’m gonna have this moral high ground and like, well, I’m not taking money from anybody. I’m like, well, you have selective, you know?

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“You’re selective in what you’re mad about. So that’s probably the only time I really got mad recently.”

Check out more from Barkley in his full interview with Clay this weekend:

Follow along on Twitter: @OhioAF

Written by Anthony Farris

6 Comments

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  1. Completely agree with Barkley here. Most of the criticism of LIV has been outlandish. Let’s go down the list:

    * LIV players are “greedy” for taking a bigger paycheck (a guaranteed paycheck no less). Well so is the PGA Tour for shoving 20 minutes of commercials down our throats during an hour of television coverage.

    * LIV’s critics say the league is “sportswashing,” but I didn’t hear any of them saying the same when the US government was paying college football coaches to push the COVID vaccines.

    * The NBA is playing games in Abu Dhabi where homosexuality is punishable by death and in China which is currently holding a tennis player hostage for speaking out about being raped. The same people who are outraged about the Saudis haven’t lashed out against the NBA with even half the ferocity they have against the LIV golfers. This is despite the fact that the NBA’s relationship with China has already led to the NBA vilifying critics of China’s human rights violations (ex: Daryl Morey).

    * Connecting this to 9/11 is disingenuous at best. Nobody cared about 9/11 when Biden was blocking domestic oil production thereby forcing us to buy from the Saudis. But somehow when some golfers want to take enormous sums of money from the Saudis, it’s suddenly an affront to families of 9/11 victims? Give me a break. People are more mad about golfers fleecing the Saudis than they are about Biden enriching the Saudis.

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