With Brandel Chamblee refusing to stop shining a spotlight on LIV Golf’s sportswashing efforts, Phil Mickelson fired back at the Golf Channel analyst.
Last weekend, as Brooks Koepka was winning the PGA Championship, his swing coach Claude Harmon III spoke to Golfweek and slammed Chamblee for using the phrase “sportswashing” in reference to the Saudi-funded LIV Golf tour. According to Harmon III, Chamblee was serving as a “paid actor” by NBC and Golf Channel by criticizing LIV for taking money from Saudi Arabia, while ignoring NBC televising the Olympics in Russia and China.
Chamblee took to Twitter and fired back with a 538-word tweet where he referred to Harmon III’s allegation as “whataboutism” and reiterated his belief that LIV and its supporters are helping Saudi Arabia to sportswash their human rights abuses. This is where Mickelson decided to enter the chat.
He can rip apart me and countless others but as soon as someone shows his ignorance he can’t handle it. He’s softer now than he was as a player.
— Phil Mickelson (@PhilMickelson) May 25, 2023
“Poor Brandel. He can rip me apart and countless others but as soon as someone shows his ignorance he can’t handle it. He’s softer now than he was as a player,” Mickelson wrote on Twitter as a reply to Golfweek’s article about Chamblee firing back at Harmon III.
Mickelson didn’t expand on the “ignorance,” but it would seem he was referring to Chamblee criticizing LIV’s relationship with Saudi Arabia while ignoring NBC covering the Olympics in countries that have deplorable human rights abuses of their own. The difference, however, is NBC does not choose where the Olympics are held. LIV golfers and supporters, however, are choosing to align with a tour backed by Saudi Arabia, when they have the PGA Tour as another option.
After being called out as soft and ignorant, Chamblee responded with a tweet of his own, inviting Mickelson to join him on the Golf Channel at the U.S. Open. In the tweet, Chamblee referenced Mickelson previously referring to the royal Saudi family as “scary mother******,” during a 2021 interview. Mickelson has since evaded criticizing the regime that funds his reported $200 million contract with LIV, claiming the “scary mother*******” comment was supposed to be off the record. Chamblee also cited the pending book release from famous sports bettor Billy Walters, who had a relationship with Mickelson and went to prison for insider trading.
Phil is welcome to come on the Live From set at the US Open to discuss the merits of playing for scary MFers, as he called them, and the Billy Walters book that comes out August 22… but my guess he’s too soft to come on and debate. https://t.co/PJlE7MF9cg
— Brandel Chamblee (@chambleebrandel) May 26, 2023
Mickelson did not reply directly to Chamblee’s tweet, in part because he’s blocked from doing so. “Did Brandel say something?” Mickelson tweeted with a screenshot proving he was blocked by Chamblee on Twitter.
Did Brandel say something? pic.twitter.com/q96eNxlkND
— Phil Mickelson (@PhilMickelson) May 26, 2023
While a meeting between Chamblee and Mickelson on the Golf Channel seems unlikely, the U.S. Open is set to tee off at Los Angeles Country Club June 15, where LIV golfers will be permitted to participate, and PGA Tour supporters will continue to protest their allegiance to Saudi Arabia.