Golf Channel and NBC analyst Brandel Chamblee has responded to Claude Harmon III's "paid actor" comments in a massive Twitter essay on Wednesday.
Chamblee, also a former professional golfer, has been outspoken over the past year and a half about his stance on LIV Golf and its relation to the concept of sportswashing.
When Brooks Koepka became the first player to win a major as a LIV Golf member last week at the PGA Championship, it resulted in an awkward on-air moment between Chamblee and Brad Faxon as they discussed the potential for Koepka to play in the upcoming Ryder Cup.
Following that, Harmon, son of legendary golf instructor Butch Harmon, slammed Chamblee.
In an interview with Golfweek's Adam Schupak, Harmon said:
"Brandel is a paid actor by NBC and Golf Channel. All he’s trying to do is get his lines and shows for the Golf Channel. He's just trying to get lines for Brandel … And I mean, I love him, I think Eamon is a fantastic writer, but for Eamon Lynch and Brandel Chamblee, who worked for NBC Golf Channel to utter the words 'sportswashing' when the company they work for televised the last two Winter Olympics in Russia and China with the same leaders that they've had. It's not like they were good leaders back then. It's not like Putin was a good guy, right?"
The younger Harmon is a swing coach himself, and works with LIV Golf's Koepka, as well as many others.
And now, Chamblee has replied in a massive Twitter post on Wednesday.
This is what he had to say about the "paid actor" claims:
"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. I’d like to think that they trust whatever opinion I have, whether it agrees with their’s or not, I’ve done the research to back it up. Which is more than I can say for those who suggest that because there is evil everywhere, all evil is relativized and unless all of it can be addressed at the same time and in the same way, it should all be ignored.
"Especially, as in the case of the person who called me a paid actor, if they can somehow profit from the evil. 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."
Chamblee also reiterated his beliefs on LIV Golf and how it relates to sportswashing, saying:
"To raise the question whether LIV has been good for the PGA Tour is to miss the very human and most important point of the whole issue of sportswashing. It is bad for the people who continue to be oppressed by the man who funds LIV Golf."
He also used Michael Block's incredible story from last week at the PGA Championship as an example of what separates the PGA Tour from LIV:
"Dignity that was most profound in watching the play of Michael Block, the club professional who stole the show at the PGA Championship with his gratitude and joy and of course with his incredibly sharp game. He was a stark reminder of what is missing in LIV Golf and even what will be missing in the PGA Tour’s no cut, small field, designated events next year.
"Because golf has always been and hopefully will always be, more about hope than heroes."
You can read Chamblee's full tweet below:
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