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Stephen A. Smith Faces Backlash Over Praising Saudi-Backed LIV Golf Deal as 'Good Business' for the PGA Tour

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Source: mega

Jun. 6 2023, Published 5:54 p.m. ET

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Sports commentator Stephen A. Smith faced backlash after he called the LIV Golf merger "good business" for the PGA Tour, RadarOnline.com has learned.

On Tuesday, it was announced that lawsuits for both parties were dropped after an agreement was reached that would combine the newly formed — and Saudi-backed — LIV Golf tour with the PGA.

Since the formation of LIV Golf in 2021, the tour and players who jumped ship to join have been ridiculed by critics for looking past Saudi Arabia's history of human right's violations for bigger payouts.

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Despite loved ones of 9/11 victims condemning the deal with the Saudi-backed tour, Smith professed his love for the the entity on-air.

"I love it. I love it," Smith said on Tuesday's edition of First Take. "And I wanna take a moment to do something that I never thought I’d ever do on national television, and give PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan some love and some credit here."

"This is smart business on his part, make no mistake about it," Smith added.

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Jay Monahan

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The controversial sportscaster would soon eat his words, as critics rushed to condemn his remarks.

"@stephenasmith is wrong. Stephen, you are a good entertainer, but no amount of your bluster and condescension makes this good for the sport," wrote one displeased viewer on Twitter, as they vowed to never watch golf again.

"I've watched @PGATOUR my whole life. No more. I'll read a book, mow the lawn, change the oil, play my own round of golf instead."

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The palpable outrage did not stop there. More joined to voice their concern with Smith seemingly dismissing the Saudi influence on the LIV tour.

"I won’t be watching Stephen A. Smith. I golf and I thinks we should never count on Saudi money in golf or basketball," tweeted another former viewer of Smith's program.

Another suggested Smith have compassion for his fellow journalists, in reference to the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

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"Maybe you should talk about how the owner of LIV golf has had journalists murdered, and YOU are a journalist, and yet you are praising the PGA move? Golf always had an evil, selfish core, this just proves it," read another scathing tweet in Smith's replies.

Others accused Smith of being disloyal to the United States, as they recalled the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

"While I can see him backing this from a sports angle. I can't see anyone praising the deal as a loyal American," read one tweet. Another responded, "Stephen A. looking to cash in on Saudi blood money."

Source: radar
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