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Charles Barkley: Sports are turning social justice issues into a ‘circus’


Charles Barkley instructed CNBC’s Power Lunch on Friday that, as an alternative of speaking about issues associated to racial and financial justice, the sports activities world is extra targeted on who’s or is not kneeling, or what social justice message is written on the again of NBA gamers’ jerseys.

“We need police reform, we need prison reform,” he mentioned. “My concern is turning this into a circus instead of trying to do some good stuff.” 

Barkley is in Edgewood Tahoe, Nevada this week, taking part in in American Century’s superstar championship golf match. The sports activities legend spoke to CNBC about basketball, race relations and social justice. 

The NBA introduced final week that gamers in Orlando will probably be allowed to function social justice associated messages on the again of their jerseys. Phrases include all the things from “Black Lives Matter,” to “Equality,” to “How many more?”

The messages will probably be optionally available however the overwhelming majority of gamers are mentioned to be collaborating.

Barkley mentioned followers want a break from actuality proper now, as tens of millions of individuals are sick with coronavirus and others are struggling job loss. 

“The last thing they want to do is turn on the television and hear arguments all the time. It’s going to be very interesting to see how the public reacts,” he mentioned.

Coronavirus circumstances continued to soar in Florida as NBA groups arrived in Orlando this week. The state well being division mentioned circumstances rose by 11,433 (simply shy of a single day excessive) to a whole of 244,151. Barkley mentioned he is hopeful and optimistic concerning the NBA’s re-start plan, the place 22-teams will compete within the Orlando bubble. 

“I think you’d have to be foolish to think we could go that whole three months without getting positive tests, but I think we are all flying in the dark right now and I don’t think anybody knows what’s going to happen.” 

Barkley mentioned the choice to cancel the season would have enormous financial penalties for gamers and will price them $2 billion over the following couple of years.

“That’s a lot of money for these players… and they can put it back in their community. So I think that’s the main reason to to play,” he mentioned. 

The 11-time NBA All-Star additionally additionally weighed in on the return to highschool within the fall. 

“You’d have to be a fool to think your kids will be safe in school right now,” he mentioned. Yet, he worries that maintaining children at residence might additionally deepen the divide between the wealthy and the poor. 

“A lot of kids who are at home don’t have access to the internet. That really makes the gap between the rich and poor even more so. This is a critical time in our country,” he added.

“I just hope we get some adults who know what they are doing and stop screwing around and dividing our country,” he mentioned. 



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