• Loading stock data...
Sunday, April 21, 2024
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -

You Cannot Be Serious: John McEnroe Slams ATP’s Saudi Investment Talks

  • “I don't know why the hell tennis would suddenly talk to the Saudis after the debacle that you're watching in golf,” McEnroe says.
  • Fellow tennis legend Chris Evert labeled Saudi Arabia’s investments as “sportswashing.”
McEnroe "wouldn't encourage" the ATP's investment talks with Saudi Arabia.
Syndication: Desert Sun

Tennis legends John McEnroe and Chris Evert oppose a potential investment from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund into the ATP Tour.  

“I wouldn’t encourage it personally, the Saudi thing. I’m not surprised that tennis is being thrown into the mix after what we saw in golf,” McEnroe said Wednesday on a call with reporters. “I don’t think that’s something that we should be pursuing. It’s not in my hands.”

“I don’t know why in the hell tennis would suddenly be; let’s talk to the Saudis after the debacle that you’re watching in golf. To me, it’s comical that it’s even being brought up right now,” added McEnroe, a New York native and seven-time Grand Slam champion.  

ATP chair Andrea Gaudenz said earlier this week that the men’s tennis tour has had “positive” discussions with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund about a potential investment. The Kingdom’s fund has bankrolled LIV Golf’s controversial merger with the PGA Tour, bought English Premier League club Newcastle United, and has committed billions to draw soccer stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema to its Saudi Pro League.

“It looked to me like the PGA were total hypocrites when they cut a deal after they’ve been fighting [Saudi Arabia’s LIV Golf], in my opinion,” said McEnroe. “At the same time, the people that are complaining about it, a lot of the people are hypocrites because our government does business with them along with tons of other hedge funds, wealth funds, you could down the list of people that have dealings.”

McEnroe’s impassioned comments came in an ESPN media call with Evert ahead of the duo’s Wimbledon coverage for the network, which begins July 1. This year’s Wimbledon tournament includes a record prize pool of $56.5 million.

“I think it’s sportswashing. I don’t think we need to go there,” Evert, an 18-time Grand Slam winner on the WTA Tour, said of Saudi Arabia’s sports investments. 

Nick Kygrios, the current 33rd-ranked player on the ATP Tour, emphatically celebrated the Tour’s investment talks with Saudi Arabia with a tweet that included 10 money bag emojis.

“Unfortunately, it’s like money talks, that’s all that matters. But I don’t think that’s all that matters,” McEnroe said. “Eventually, you get bought out. It’s like, at some point, someone will offer too much.”

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Rockies Coach’s Team Plane Cockpit Visit Triggers Federal Investigation

A since-deleted video shows him sitting in the cockpit mid-flight.

WTA Finals Latest Sporting Event To Take Saudi Millions

Players can still wear normal attire, WTA says.

A’s Reach Deal to Leave Oakland for Sacramento After This Year

The A’s will play in a minor league park starting in 2025.

Ongoing NFL Network Cuts Hit On-Air Talent

The network also made cuts around the ‘Good Morning Football’ move to L.A.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Why Ian Rapoport Lives for the NFL Draft’s Chaos


Featured Today

Everything You Need To Know About the Legal Attempts To Kill the ACC

Four lawsuits involving the conference, Clemson, and FSU could determine the future.
April 20, 2024

A Bare-Knuckle Fighter Won His Pro Debut. The Far Right Scored a Marketing Win

With Proud Boys sponsoring him, experts say extremist groups will use his success to elevate their ideologies and recruit new believers.
April 7, 2024

Women’s Basketball Finally Has a TV Deal to Match the Excitement. Now What?

A lucrative new media-rights contract could rectify problems of the past, but the future of March Madness media rights is anyone’s guess.
Mar 16, 2024; Washington, D.C., USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack forward DJ Burns Jr. (30) cuts the net after defeating the North Carolina Tar Heels for the ACC Conference Championship at Capital One Arena.
April 6, 2024

How Two College Seniors Helped DJ Burns Cash In on a Final Four Run

Two college seniors are facilitating deals for NC State’s big man.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Live Nation
Multiple - USA Careers
Multiple - USA Careers
Multiple - USA Careers

NBA Media Rights Likely Headed for Open Market Next Week

The league is reportedly letting Monday’s deadline pass without a deal.
April 17, 2024

NBA Bans Jontay Porter for Life After Gambling Investigation

The NBA found that Porter gave injury information to sports gamblers, among other violations.
April 17, 2024

Women’s Golf Has Five—Not Four—Majors, and That’s a Good Thing

The Chevron Championship tees of Thursday outside of Houston.

Rapid Returns: How Technology Is Getting You Back to Your Seat

How Oracle’s POS technology is helping fans get back to their seats faster.
April 17, 2024

Warriors Missing Playoffs Has Big-Money Consequences

The NBA is losing one of its biggest postseason draws.
April 17, 2024

Even Joe Biden Is Surprised By Caitlin Clark Making $76K

The president posted Tuesday night about pay disparities in sports.
April 16, 2024

Caitlin Clark Drives Massive WNBA Draft Audience for ESPN

Clark’s coronation was the most-watched WNBA telecast in decades.
April 16, 2024

For Caitlin Clark and Other Rookies: Now a 29-Day Sprint to WNBA Debut

The league regular season starts swiftly after college basketball ends.