Peter FitzSimons brutally owned by NRL player Christian Welch over Cam Smith LIV Golf comments


Rugby league star Christian Welch has taken a brutal swipe at Peter FitzSimons for his hypocritical stance on Australian golfer Cam Smith signing with Saudi-backed LIV Golf tour. 

Smith’s shift to the breakaway golf league is reportedly earning him $140 million – something the former Wallabies star and husband of TV host Lisa Wilkinson slammed as ‘blood money’ in a recent column. 

But the Melbourne Storm prop pointed out that FitzSimons recently appeared in an advertising campaign for the food delivery app Uber Eats which Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman is a major investor in.

‘It’s okay for you to profit (albeit indirectly) from the Saudi investment fund but not a golfer?’ Welch shared on Twitter.

‘Same money funding LIV invested in Uber, Boeing & 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 on offer.’

FitzSimons recently appeared in an advertising campaign for the food delivery app Uber Eats (pictured in Welch’s Tweet) which Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman is a major investor in 

Christian Welch is the co-caption at the Melbourne Storm and has represented Queensland six times in State of Origin

FitzSimons recently wrote in a Sydney Morning Herald opinion piece: ‘In this sporting war, the only thing LIV offers is the billions they’re prepared to put out for ‘sportswashing,’ to improve their image,’

‘Seriously, what does LIV bring to the table in this war, bar blood money? 

‘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.

Poll

Do you think it’s hypocritical of Peter FitzSimons to criticise Cam Smith?

  • Yes 279 votes
  • No 11 votes

‘But if you still haven’t signed, Cameron Smith, don’t. You’re a fabulous bloke, who we all love and are proud of. And so I don’t say this just for us, but for you.’

LIV, which is a rival tour to the PGA, has come under fire since its inception with critics claiming Saudi Arabia is using the sport of golf to ‘sportswash’ its appalling human rights record.  

The oil-rich dictatorship routinely executes domestic dissidents and remains one of the most repressive places on earth for woman and the LGBTQI community.

In 2018, a 15-man hit squad sent on the orders of Prince Bin Salman carried out the horrific murder and torture of journalist Jamal Khashoggi on the grounds of the Saudi Consulate in Turkey.

Keen to revamp their image in the wake of the international embarrassment, Saudi Arabia has funded the LIV Golf Invitational Series to the tune of $3billion with another $2.9billion to fund events in 2023 and 2024. 

Peter FitzSimons (right with wife Lisa Wilkinson)  slammed the LIV golf league as 'blood money' in a recent column

Peter FitzSimons (right with wife Lisa Wilkinson)  slammed the LIV golf league as ‘blood money’ in a recent column

WHAT IS SPORTSWASHING? 

The term ‘sportswashing’ is the practice of using sport as a propaganda tool to improve the reputation of a nation, company or individual.

Nations with poor human rights records will often look to host major international sporting events with the hope it will gloss over their treatment of minorities and raise their diplomatic standing in the world.

Sportswashing also happens when companies or individuals with shady pasts sponsor sporting teams or events to win favour in their community or with government.’

The rouge golf league is spearheaded by Australian former world number 1 Greg Norman.  

Twitter users applauded Welch for calling out FitzSimons over his ‘double standard’.

‘Christian Welch defeats the Bogan Yuppie by a knockout in Round 2,’ one user joked.

Another said: ‘Imagine how much Fitzw***er will be hating on RL after this take down by the peoples’ prop. Not sure he can hate on it much more though,’ 

‘Getting taken down by a rugby league player! Oh this is glorious,’ a third wrote.

But not everyone agreed with some social media pile-on with some quick to defend the opinionated columnist.   

‘It’s like saying you can’t criticise America’s war in Afghanistan because you bought McDonalds for lunch,’ 9News reporter Mark Gottlieb said. 

FitzSimons ended up retweeting his reply simply stating, ‘Brilliant’, to which one Twitter user responded: ‘Hey champ are you going to reply to the people who have replied your your tweet? Or just those who you agree with?? Bit unfair on Christian Welch to be honest.’

The criticism comes after FitzSimons had a bitter public spat with Aboriginal senator Jacinta Price where he was accused of bullying her over her position on the upcoming Voice to Parliament referendum. 

Cam Smith's shift to LIV Golf is reportedly worth $140 million and FitzSimons has been vocal that Smith should not have sold out

Cam Smith’s shift to LIV Golf is reportedly worth $140 million and FitzSimons has been vocal that Smith should not have sold out

Ms Price went public saying she felt FitzSimons ‘imposed’ his view on her during an interview about the merits and faults of the contentious vote which could see a third chamber of parliament established to consult on issues facing Indigenous Australians. 

FitzSimons is strongly in favour of the move while Senator Price is vehemently opposed, believing it will not do anything to help improve the lives of Aboriginal people. 

In a Facebook post after the article was published, Senator Price alleged FitzSimons ‘accused me of giving racists a voice but that wasn’t printed’ and later told media he was ‘aggressive’ and ‘rude’ and shouted at her.

FitzSimons strongly denied her claims – as did his boss, who tweeted that he had listened to the interview – with FitzSimons texting asking her to remove the Facebook post, which she did.

The beginning of the explosive text message exchange between Peter FitzSimons (words in grey) and Jacinta Price  (words in blue)

The beginning of the explosive text message exchange between Peter FitzSimons (words in grey) and Jacinta Price  (words in blue)

Senator Price asked FitzSimons to stop bullying her

Jacinta Price and Peter FitzSimons both furiously claimed they had witnesses to their phone call in a heated text exchange (pictured) after she accused him of being ‘aggressive’

The full text exchange between the pair shows they both claimed to have witnesses to the phone call as they argued over what happened. 

‘Senator, I urge you to withdraw these defamatory accusations, as you know it is nonsense,’ FitzSimons wrote.

Senator Price hit back: ‘We did yell at each other. I’d like a copy of the interview… you did accuse me of empowering racists.’

FitzSimons insisted there was ‘not a single raised voice on either side’ but she replied: ‘I recall I had to yell, as did my chief of staff who was present while you were on speaker.’

Jacinta Price (pictured), a first term NT Senator, is against an Indigenous Voice to Parliament and changing the date of Australia Day from January 26

Jacinta Price (pictured), a first term NT Senator, is against an Indigenous Voice to Parliament and changing the date of Australia Day from January 26

What is the Indigenous Voice to Parliament?

Anthony Albanese wants a body enshrined in the Constitution that would enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to provide advice to the Parliament on policies and projects that impact their lives.

A referendum is needed to change the Constitution. The vote will need support from the majority of Australians in the majority of states to be successful. 

The question that could be put to Australians is: ‘Do you support an alteration to the constitution that establishes an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice?’

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