NBA legend Charles Barkley thinks that the path that majors sports leagues are taking or trying to take to promote social justice is not a good one.
The NBA has already planned for players to wear customized jerseys with social justice terms that will replace their last name, if they choose to do so. The list of the approved suggested social messages reportedly includes the following words and phrases: Black Lives Matter; Say Their Names; Vote; I Can’t Breathe; Justice; Peace; Equality; Freedom; Enough; Power to the People; Justice Now; Say Her Name; Sí Se Puede (Yes We Can); Liberation; See Us; Hear Us; Respect Us; Love Us; Listen; Listen to Us; Stand Up; Ally; Anti-Racist; I Am A Man; Speak Up; How Many More; Group Economics; Education Reform; and Mentor.
Barkley thinks the league is completely missing the point and social justice is turning into a circus.
“What’s happening now is we’re turning into a circus,” Barkley said on CNBC as transcribed by Virgil Villanueva of ClutchPoints. “Instead of talking about racial equality, racial justice and economic justice, we spend all our time worrying about who’s kneeling and not kneeling, what things are being said on buses, what’s being said on jerseys. I think we’re missing the point.”
“We need police reform, prison reform. Those are No. 1 and No. 2 things to focus on. We need the cops, good cops out there policing bad cops …. When we spend time focusing on what’s on the jersey, that’s gonna defeat purpose. My concern is this is turning into a circus instead of trying to do some good stuff.”
“The last thing [sports fans] 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 said he hopes NBA games can go forward soon because the economic loss – if games are canceled – would be so great.
“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.”
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