The debate over whether or not Brooks Koepka should represent his country in the Ryder Cup rages on.
This past week, Claude Harmon III, Koepka’s swing coach, accused Brandel Chamblee of being a paid actor by his employer, NBC Universal, and the Golf Channel.
NBC and the Golf Channel have exclusive rights to covering the PGA Tour, now the biggest adversary to the upstart LIV Golf Tour, where Koepka now plays.
The Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF) has invested almost $1 billion into LIV Golf.
Consequently, Chamblee, a longtime golf broadcaster, rifled back on Twitter, sending a tweet out of 538 words addressing Harmon III’s comments:
The farrago of whataboutisms that inevitably accompanies any discussion on sportswashing, attempts, in answering a condemnation with an accusation, to impugn the credibility of the accuser and to distract from having to deal with the complexities of the question. Much like…— Brandel Chamblee (@chambleebrandel) May 24, 2023
Within this staunch soliloquy, Chamblee discusses how the Saudi government is using LIV Golf to sportswash—to use sport to overshadow moral corruption.
“The farrago of whataboutisms that inevitably accompanies any discussion on sportswashing, attempts, in answering a condemnation with an accusation, to impugn the credibility of the accuser and to distract from having to deal with the complexities of the question,” Chamblee raged. “The accusation that I am just a proxy for the opinion of my employer is a curious one to me, and while the natural back and forth with colleagues certainly informs my opinion, no one for whom I work with or for has ever tried to influence what I am going to say.”
Chamblee did not hold back.
“As in the case of the person who called me a paid actor, if they can somehow profit from the evil,” Chamblee continued. “This is where the debate crashes headfirst into the nexus of politics, sports, and narcissistic greed. Where those who want to escape it most often cloy at whataboutisms, to stop the discussion with a pejorative accusation because they don’t want their motives to be discovered.”
He notes that Koepka’s win at the PGA Championship was “impressive” but continues to vilify the LIV Tour because of who its beneficiary is.
“[Koepka’s win] should not distract us from the simple fact that LIV players are being used for the benefit of some very bad people and to the detriment of a great many more good people,” Chamblee added. “That LIV Golf, with its inability to develop stars and seeking to buy them like high-performance cars, is undermining the dignity intrinsic in golf.”
This discussion stems from Koepka’s most recent PGA Championship victory. He became the first LIV golfer to win a major championship.
It remains to be seen if Koepka will tee it up for the Americans at the Ryder Cup, but with his solid performances in majors so far this year, all signs point to him doing so in Italy in September.
Nonetheless, these debates will continue to ware on in golf media.