Charles Barkley Turns Down LIV Golf
Charles Barkley cut off contract negotiations with LIV Golf to join its broadcast team Friday, he told the New York Post, a surprising end to a public courtship that looked promising given the basketball Hall of Famer’s willingness to overlook criticism about the tour’s Saudi funding for a massive payday.
Barkley told the Post he wishes LIV Golf “nothing but the best,” explaining it’s “in my best interest” to commit to his role on TNT’s basketball coverage.
The 59-year-old Barkley shared Friday he plans to remain with TNT for the rest of his broadcasting career, and said that he planned to retire at the conclusion of his contract in 2024.
Despite the publicly expressed mutual interest, LIV Golf never made a formal offer to Barkley, according to the Post.
TNT and LIV Golf did not immediately respond to Forbes’ request for comment.
Following his participation Thursday in LIV Golf’s pro-amateur event at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster, Barkley told reporters he had yet to receive a formal offer and said to the New York Times he would formally reject LIV Golf if he didn’t get an offer by Friday. Barkley told the Post last week he was open to joining the new tour’s broadcast team, slamming criticism of the tour’s financing and the Saudi government’s human rights record as “selective outrage,” claiming “we have all taken ‘blood money.’” During an interview Monday on the Dan Patrick Show, said it would take a “crazy amount” of money to lure him away from TNT, but confirmed he’d leave for a $60 million annual salary, about triple what he makes between his TNT contract and endorsements. LIV Golf does not have a rights deal with a major broadcaster or streaming service, and streams its tournaments on YouTube, Facebook and its website.
Joining Barkley at Thursday’s pro-am was an eclectic bunch of celebrities: former President Donald Trump, his son Eric Trump, Olympic Gold Medalist turned Republican California gubernatorial candidate Caitlyn Jenner, former NFL All-Pro Brian Urlacher and former Bachelor host Chris Harrison.
Charles Barkley ends contract flirtation with LIV Golf (New York Post)