NBA Hall of Fame member Charles Barkley slammed cancel culture’s invasion of sports and the role of analyzing the game, during an interview with 106.7 The Fan’s “Grant and Danny.”
Barkley, a sports analyst for TNT, said he is lucky to have a job that pays him to watch basketball but criticized some people who seem to take the job too seriously, saying, “the [politically correct] people are out overboard right now.”
”You can’t even have fun nowadays without these jackasses trying to get you canceled and things like that,” Barkley said, per Fox News. “Just having fun, talking about sports. I’m trying to hang on for another couple years until I’m 60, and then they can kiss my a**. I’m only working until 60. I’ve already told them that.”
“We can’t even have fun anymore. We’ve had fun all these years, and now all of a sudden in the last year and a half, everybody’s trying to get everybody fired, and it really sucks,” he added.
He said that he can’t imagine being on a radio show every day in a world where people aren’t allowed to discuss certain subjects. Barkley said one of his favorite phrases is “we agree to disagree,” but unfortunately, he said, things have changed.
“They’re coming for your head, and a lot of our bosses are cowards,” he said. “I said, ‘Context matters.’ They’re like, ‘Context doesn’t matter.’ I said, ‘That’s total BS. Context always has to matter.’ But now, if you crack a joke the wrong way, they’re like, ‘Oh, no, no, no, no. You crossed a line.’”
He added that he joked about the size of women in San Antonio, but after one person wrote an article about it, he is no longer allowed to discuss it.
Barkley noted that the show usually goes late into the night, adding that it’s difficult to talk about a game that isn’t going well at a certain point.
“Nobody’s watching this game. Our relatives (are) not even watching this show after this,” he said. “And then, so about 1 o’clock, you’re like, ‘Man, I’m going to say something just to have some fun.’ But like I said, now you really have to think about all the fun stuff you used to say.”
Barkley wasn’t specific about the bosses to whom he was referring. As reported by Fox News, however, “in addition to serving as president of liberal network CNN, Jeff Zucker also serves as Chairman of Warner Media News and Sports, which oversees Turner Sports and includes TNT’s NBA coverage.”
Comedian and actor Kevin Hart recently made a similar point to Barkley, discussed “cancel culture” after he ended his hosting gig for the 2019 Academy Awards over previous tweets and jokes deemed offensive by the “woke.”
“If people want to pull up stuff, go back to the same tweets of old, go ahead,” he said. “There is nothing I can do. You’re looking at a younger version of myself. A comedian trying to be funny and, at that attempt, failing. Apologies were made. I understand now how it comes off. I look back and cringe. So it’s growth. It’s about growth.”
“When did we get to a point where life was supposed to be perfect? Where people were supposed to operate perfectly all the time? I don’t understand,” he continued. “I don’t expect perfection from my kids. I don’t expect it from my wife, friends, employees. Because, last I checked, the only way you grow up is from f***ing up. I don’t know a kid who hasn’t f***ed up or done some dumb sh**.”
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