Charles Barkley issued a warning to professional sports leagues in the wake of everything that’s been happening in the country.
The Turner Sports host said that leagues need to be careful to not make things too political in the wake of several in-game displays.
The NBA returned to action this week and the majority of the league’s players and coaches kneeled for the national anthem. Barkley said on TNT that players who don’t kneel for the anthem should not be criticized.
“The thing is, the national anthem means different things to different people,” Barkley said. “I’m glad these guys are all unified, but if people don’t kneel, they’re not a bad person. I want to make that perfectly clear.”
He added: “I’m glad they had unity, but if we have a guy that doesn’t want to kneel or the anthem means something to him, he should not be vilified.”
Charles Barkley on anthem kneeling "If people don't kneel they're not a bad person" pic.twitter.com/qeZfjHTUZ4
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) July 30, 2020
Barkley also said that leagues need to be careful.
“I think it’s a dangerous slippery slope. America is hurting right now. This pandemic is ruining so many lives. These people ain’t got no jobs, they’re not gonna get their jobs back. They got to worry if school is gonna start now,” he said.
Barkley added: “I know this stuff is important and significant. But some of these people are just ‘can I just watch basketball or baseball or hockey?’”