Charles Barkley is usually one to go against the grain of resistance, but when it comes to Colin Kaepernick’s continued free agency, he’s singing a different tune.
“The dude is getting blackballed because he’s messing with [NFL owner’s] money,” Barkley said at the National Association of Black Journalists conference Thursday, Aug. 10, according to Marc J. Spears of “The Undefeated.”
Kaepernick drew criticism last season when he sat down and later took a knee during the national anthem to protest Black oppression and, at the time, Barkley wanted more to be done.
“Everybody’s engaged already,” Barkley told the Bleacher Report in October. Everybody’s talking about it and know about it. I’m just a bit more big on action. Once you get off your knee, like, ‘OK, what are you doing?’ Because football season is going to be over soon. And the question is: How long do you do it? When is it over?'”
Kaepernick, who opted out of his contract with the San Fransico 49ers in March, reportedly has decided he won’t protest this season, but he has yet to be signed to a new team. The quarterback has been keeping busy giving to charity and discovering his roots in recent months and hasn’t commented publicly on his circumstance.
Barkley, however, has weighed in regularly on the matter.
“I think what Colin has done has been awesome,” Barkley said during a call-in interview on “The Dan Patrick Show” Wednesday, Aug. 9. “I think his cause is terrific, but there are ramifications and he’s paying for those. For every action, there’s a reaction. You look at the greatest athlete of all time, Muhammad Ali. When he didn’t go in the draft, there were ramifications. He didn’t get to fight for three years. So, as noble as what Colin is doing — and it’s very noble — but there are consequences. … It’s very unfortunate, but when you take a stance on certain things, there is a price to pay. It’s that simple.”