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Featured Image Credit: Peter FitzSimons/Instagram. NRL/Supplied.
Former rugby player turned author Peter FitzSimons has been called out by NRL star Christian Welch for the hypocrisy of his stance on Australian golfer Cameron Smith signing with LIV Golf.
Cameron Smith confirmed his move to the Saudi-backed league after months of speculation, admitting that the move was a ‘business decision’.
FitzSimons penned a column for the Sydney Morning Herald where he slammed the tournament.
He said: “Seriously, what does LIV bring to the table in this war, bar blood money?”
Adding: “In this sporting war, the only thing LIV offers is the billions they’re prepared to put out for ‘sportswashing,’ to improve their image.”
FitzSimons then made note of the extraordinary amount of money that the Australian is set to earn from jumping ship.
He said: “And yes, $130 million is a hard thing for anyone to refuse. For that amount, you could probably make yourself believe –or at least say – anything.”
His comments didn’t land too favourably with Melbourne Storm prop Christian Welch who was quick to call out the hypocrisy in FitzSimons’ statements.
Just trying to illustrate my point here..it’s okay for you to profit (albeit indirectly) from the Saudi investment fund but not a golfer?😂 pic.twitter.com/r1FCCzNqha— Christian Welch (@clwelch94) August 31, 2022
He tweeted: “Same money funding LIV invested in Uber, Boeing and Starbucks. Are you complicit when you get a ride home or a cappuccino?
“How far does it go? I don’t recall the same outrage at those companies, but dare a golfer accept the cash offer.”
The rugby league player then tweeted out a picture of FitzSimons appearing in an UberEats advertisement from 2018.
He added: “Just trying to illustrate my point here ..it’s OK for you to profit (albeit indirectly) from the Saudi investment fund but not a golfer?”
Welch’s response clearly had people on his side.
One fan commented: “Hello, I’d like to report a murder.”
It’s like saying you can’t criticise America’s war in Afghanistan because you bought McDonalds for lunch.— Mark Gottlieb (@MarkGottlieb) August 31, 2022
Another said: “Christian Welch should immediately be admitted into the NRL Hall of Fame and be made an Immortal by the end of the year.”
Whilst Channel 9’s Mark Gottlieb seemingly disagreed, saying: “It’s like saying you can’t criticise America’s war in Afghanistan because you bought McDonald’s for lunch.”
Smith’s defection signals the highest ranked PGA player to make the jump.
He joins the likes of Dustin Johnson, Brooks Kopeka, and Bryson DeChambeau in the series.