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Greetings from The Booth!
With all quiet at Shenandoah University, we turn our attention to James Wood High School baseball, who as of this writing, is 2 wins away from a state championship. The 21-5 Colonels advanced to the semifinals Tuesday with a 5-1 win over Salem, and will now face Monocan on Friday in Fredericksburg. It’s worth noting that James Wood baseball hasn’t been to the state tournament since 1985. How long ago was that? Ronald Reagan was in his second term, Back To The Future was the top-grossing film, We Are The World was the number-one song that year, and in 1985, gas was $1.12 a gallon (I had to throw that in there). In other words, it’s been awhile. Good luck Colonels in your quest to bring a title back home this weekend!
Well, the PGA Tour and the golf world have been turned upside down by the rival tour known as the LIV Invitational Golf Series, which has it’s inaugural event this week in London. Some big names have defected from the PGA Tour, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed, and Dustin Johnson to name a few. Johnson was reportedly offered $125 million for joining the LIV. All who have joined the LIV now face action from the PGA Tour on a case by case basis, including suspensions.
Maybe the most notable name to join the LIV is Phil Mickelson. Mickelson, always a lightning rod for controversy, is coming off a self-induced 4 month hiatus from competitive golf, has decided to jump to the Saudi-backed LIV. You might remember that his comments about the Saudis earlier this year sparked some backlash.
The new LIV Tour is being funded by the financial arm of the Saudi government, valued at some $600 billion, so money is not going to be an issue. The controversy lies in the alleged human rights violations of the Saudis, who were also responsible for the assassination of Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. By financially backing sports leagues and organizations (like the WWE), the Saudis are being accused of something called “Sportswashing,” the practice of distracting the public from their abuses by funding sports.
At this week’s LIV press conference , Mickelson fielded the first 26 questions, including those about “Sportswashing.” While denouncing human rights violations, Mickelson is still taking the money from the Saudi-backed tour. This is yet another example of the hypocrisy that now permeates the sports world. The NBA and supposed social justice warriors like Lebron James have no trouble taking money from and climbing into bed with China, one of the world’s worst human rights abusers. James, in particular, is very outspoken in his quest for social justice, yet remains aligned with Nike, whose products are made by Chinese laborers who work under the crushing boot of the CCP.
Apparently, for Phil and his PGA Tour defectors…money talks.
Until the next visit from The Booth…GO COLONELS!