After the NBA suspended all playoff games on Wednesday night following a protest walkout by the Milwaukee Bucks over the police shooting of Jacob Blake, Charles Barkley shared his uncensored reaction on CNN.
The former basketball star and current co-host of TNT’s Inside the NBA said the Bucks “deserve a lot of credit” for their “courageous” act of refusing to play, but his biggest question is what comes next.
“What is their next game plan?” he asked. “They canceled the games for today. I think that puts tremendous pressure on the players not to play tomorrow also. So are they boycotting today and tomorrow? Are they not going to play again? I would like to talk to the players personally and see what the game plan is.”
Barkley went on to say that he’s “never seen anything like this” in the sports world. And asked by anchor Wolf Blitzer to respond to a tweet from LeBron James that simply read, “FUCK THIS MAN!!!! WE DEMAND CHANGE. SICK OF IT,” he did not mince words.
“Well, Wolf, the bottom line is it is exhausting being Black, especially when you are a celebrity,” Barkley said. “You know, I love Tom Brady but nobody asks him about what is going on in white America.”
“White players—they’ve been amazing but they don’t deal with the pressure these young Black guys are going through every day. And if you look at the last, just in the last couple months going back to Ahmaud Arbery, Mr. Floyd, the young lady who was screaming at the Black guy in New York, now you’ve got Mr. Blake who just got shot. It is something all the time.”
“I admire these guys for standing up, but Wolf, it is exhausting being Black because there is a double standard when you are Black,” he continued. “Because I have to comment on everything that happens in the Black community. Same thing with LeBron, who is our most prominent player, but man, you get tired of something all the time.”