The LIV Golf broadcast team of Arlo White, Jerry Foltz, and David Feherty on Oct. 30, 2022.

While many insist that retweets are not necessarily endorsements (and while they sometimes actually are not endorsements), straight retweets have sometimes gotten sports figures in trouble for an implied endorsement. The latest who’s drawing some criticism there is Arlo White. White made a controversial retweet Thursday of British TV personality Julia Hartley-Brewer defending Andrew Tate and attacking Greta Thunberg, then said Friday (after a lot of criticism) he did it only to ‘point out the crass stupidity of the tweeter.’

White has recently been broadcasting for the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series, working as their lead play-by-play caller. (He’s seen at left above on their final 2022 broadcast on Oct. 30, with Jerry Foltz and David Feherty.) Before that, White spent nine years as the lead play-by-play voice for NBC Sports’ Premier League coverage, leaving them after last season ended in May (Peter Drury has now filled that role). He also worked on Olympic and MLS broadcasts for them, and also was the lead play-by-play voice for MLS’ Chicago Fire for the last several years. Thursday saw him retweet two tweets from Hartley-Brewer over the Thunberg-Tate flap, .

What is that flap? Well, in short, it’s has seen former kickboxer turned personality Tate take a shot at Thunberg’s climate activism by detailing how many cars he owned and say “Please provide your email address so I can send a complete list of my car collection and their respective enormous emissions,”  Thunberg respond with “yes, please do enlighten me. email me at smalldickenergy@getalife.com,” and Tate respond with an angry video (complete with pizza boxes he insisted on not recycling).

Tate and his brother Tristan were then arrested by Romanian authorities on human trafficking charges, with one of the brothers also charged with rape. That came with police comments that they “appear to have created an organized crime group with the purpose of recruiting, housing and exploiting women,” and Thunberg responded to news of the Tates’ arrest with “This is what happens when you don’t recycle your pizza boxes.” (Many theorized that the pizza boxes gave away Tate’s location, but the investigation into him was reportedly months-long, and a police spokeperson disputed that the pizza played a role). Some have been critical of Thunberg’s actions here, though, including Hartley-Brewer. Here are the two tweets of hers White retweeted, which remained up on his page as of 12:45 p.m. Eastern Friday:

“I’d choose Andrew Tate’s life *every single time* over the life of a half-educated, doom-mongering eco-cultist. And the only car I own is a diesel Tiguan. 🤷🏻‍♀️ 1/2” – Hartley-Brewer wrote.

“I’ve deleted my previous tweet that mentioned Greta’s autism because – although I only referred to it because she states it in her own Twitter biog – people decided to take offence at a fact. Even though they had no problem with this woman calling a man “small dick”. Yawn. 2/2″ she added.

Those tweets lived on White’s page from Thursday night to Friday without any further tweets or additional context as to White’s position on the issue. However, on Friday, White quote-retweeted Thunberg’s “recycle your pizza boxes” tweet with a wave emoji and two crying-laughing emojis, and then offered a tweet explaining himself (following a separate thread on Pelé):

“To clarify the retweets, I was pointing out the crass stupidity of the tweeter, an attention seeking right wing broadcaster in the UK (yes, I fell for the attention seeking thing)) I didn’t think I’d need to confirm that I’m on the side of GT over AT (thought that was obvious!)”

White can certainly say that he was always on the side of Thunberg over Tate. But it definitely wasn’t “obvious” from his decision to retweet two tweets on her from Hartley-Brewer, one calling her “a half-educated, doom-mongering eco-cultist” and praising Tate, and to retweet those with no further context provided until the next day. And that led to a lot of criticism for White.

[Arlo White on Twitter; image from LIV Golf on YouTube]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.