NBA season kicked off on Tuesday night — which puts TNT’s Charles Barkley back in the sports media spotlight. And while the retired NBA great has been away, he hasn’t liked what he’s seen from his media peers who have covered the NFL protests.
In a conference call (transcribed via Sports Illustrated), Barkley ripped the media for — in his view — furthering the national divide on the protests.
“I’m sick of these media guys who have hijacked the whole Colin Kaepernick situation and made it about who’s protesting, who’s standing for the Anthem,” Barkley said. “I mean you guys have really done a terrible job on this entire story and really ruined it and made it a more divisive issue.”
Barkley contends that the media has emphasized the actions of players who have knelt during the National Anthem over the cause that they’ve been protesting — racial and social oppression.
“We’ve lost what Kaepernick initially kneeled for,” Barkley said. “It’s not about the flag. Everybody loves the American flag. Nobody’s trying to disrespect soldiers. You guys in the media have made it about that. I hope these players smarten up and realize you guys love writing about this junk. It gives you something to talk about on the radio 24/7.”
“[L]et’s quit talking about who’s kneeling and not kneeling and let’s come up with some solutions.”
[image via screengrab]
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