Charles Barkley golfing at a LIV Golf event in July 2022. Jul 28, 2022; Bedminster, NJ, USA; Former NBA player Charles Barkley hits a tee shot during the LIV Invitational Pro-Am at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster. Mandatory Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

While Charles Barkley is still waiting for an offer to decide if he’s going to become a broadcaster for the Saudi-backed LIV Golf, he’s playing in the LIV Golf Invitational pro-am at Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster, NJ.

Barkley has defended the players who have spurned the PGA Tour for the lucrative paychecks with LIV Golf in spite of the league’s association with a government reportedly involved in the September 11th attacks, not to mention countless human rights violations. As many others have done, rather than try to justify the source of the money, he’s tried to shift attention to other sports leagues and sponsors with dubious connections and financial ties.

Barkley used the same tactic on Thursday when asked about the fact that 9/11 victim families are protesting the event and LIV Golf.

“Barkley said the 9/11 families that are protesting LIV Golf deserve to be heard but added he thinks LIV Golf is unfairly taking grief compared to companies such as Berkshire Hathaway and BofA that have also taken Saudi money,” tweeted Eric Fisher.

It’s a common tactic meant to absolve one’s self from blame or shame about taking “sports washing” money. Yes, it’s true that many sports leagues and their sponsors are tied up in dubious situations worthy of a closer look, but that doesn’t mean it gives you a free pass to take money from a government looking to use you as a way to wash away murders.

Chances are, the pushback against LIV Golf will indeed die down as it becomes accepted more and more, as these kinds of things tend to happen, especially when so much money is involved. But anytime you’re going to try to “whataboutism” 9/11, that’s something you’ll have to wear like a badge for the rest of your life.

[Eric Fisher]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to