NBA icon Charles Barkley is questioning how social justice issues are being addressed in the NBA. coming out against some of the recent efforts by owners and players.
On July 10, Barkley told CNBC, “What’s happening now is we’re turning into a circus. Instead of talking about racial equality, racial justice and economic justice, we spend all our time worrying about who’s kneeling and not kneeling, what things are being said on buses, what’s being said on jerseys. I think we’re missing the point.
The 57-year-old continued, “We need police reform, prison reform. Those are No. 1 and No. 2 things to focus on. We need the cops, good cops out there policing bad cops. … When we spend time focusing on what’s on the jersey, that’s gonna defeat purpose. My concern is this is turning into a circus instead of trying to do some good stuff.”
He is also unsure about Black Lives Matter messages on their jerseys.
“We are in a divided country. Sports used to be a place where fans could go and get away from reality. Now it’s such a mixture. It’s going to be fascinating watching what happens with the fans. Fans are at a disadvantage, they’re going through the pandemic. They don’t want to see a bunch of rich people talking about stuff all the time. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer.”
Barkley also added, “People lost jobs and the last thing they want to do is turn on the television to hear arguments about stuff all the time. It’s going to be very interesting to see how the public reacts.”
This week, NBA players arrived in Orlando, Florida where they are being kept in a bubble to resume the season on July 31 at Walt Disney World Resort.
Listen to Barkely’s CNBC interview below:
(Photo credit: LISA O'CONNOR/AFP via Getty Images)