He’s gregarious. He’s a political chameleon. He’s affable, annoying, and outspoken.
Charles Barkley is also… fed up.
The basketball legend has announced he’ll be leaving his analyst post on TNT’s “Inside the NBA”, laying it at the feet of cancel culture.
Speaking on a Washington sports-radio station, Barkley said “It’s gotten so out of hand right now, I couldn’t imagine having to watch myself. You can’t even have fun nowadays without these jackasses trying to get you canceled and things like that.”
Barkley says he’ll “hang on for another couple years” until he turns 60. After that, Barkley says “they can kiss my ass… 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.”
Known as the “Round Mound of Rebound” during his all-star days with the Phoenix Suns, Barkley thrust himself into a larger spotlight as a player when he fronted a Nike campaign in 1993 (the year he also was named the league’s Most Valuable Player) in which he stated “I am not a role model”.
Politically, Barkley has been all over the map – even during his NBA playing days with Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Houston from 1984-2000. In 1995, he considered running for governor of Alabama under a Republican ticket. In 2006 he quipped, “I was a Republican until they lost their minds”. The following year, he made a video in support of Democrat Barack Obama’s candidacy in the 2008 presidential election. During a Monday Night Football broadcast in September 2007, Barkley alluded to another run at governor of Alabama and declared himself an Independent while stating “the Republicans are full of it, (but) the Democrats are a little less full of it.”
Just this past April, working as an analyst for CBS’ pregame coverage of the 2021 NCAA Men’s Final Four, Barkley expressed frustration regarding a racial divide between “whites and blacks”, but putting the blame squarely on the shoulders of politicians on both sides of the aisle:
Now, it’s cancel culture that is in Sir Charles’ crosshairs. “That’s all we ever talk about behind the scenes like, ‘Yo, man, be careful going in this direction.’ I’m like, ‘Yo, man, we can’t even have fun anymore… I’m only working until 60. I’ve already told them that. I’m not working until the day I die. That’s just stupid. And if I don’t have enough money by now, I’m an idiot, anyway. They should fire me, anyway.”