Former NBA great Charles Barkley is fed up with cancel culture and the muzzles it has placed on him and his “NBA on TNT” co-hosts.
Barkley has been known to make some off-the-wall comments and jokes throughout his career as a sports analyst. But apparently the show’s decision-makers have told the NBA Hall of Famer — and co-hosts Kenny Smith, Shaquille O’Neal, and Ernie Johnson — to mind his words before treading into offensive territory.
“If you crack a joke the wrong way they like, ‘Oh no, no, no, no you crossed the line,'” said Barkley during his appearance on the “Grant & Danny” show on 106.7 The Fan. He went on to explain that his long-running joke about the “big ole women” of the Lone Star State struck a particular nerve with producers.
“I mean they won’t even let me talk about San Antonio anymore,” which caused both Grant and Danny to erupt into laughter.
“You know when I’m always talking about them big ole women down in San Antonio [Texas] they’re like, “Charles we got one lady who wrote an article,” he continued. “Like, first of all, I didn’t call anybody personally fat in San Antonio. I was just joking around, and where this one lady wrote this article … I’m like, ‘So y’all gone let one lady, we been having fun with this for probably 10, 15 years, and when we go to San Antonio the people are having a blast with it.’”
The article in question, “Years later, Charles Barkley is still fat-shaming San Antonio women on national TV,” took a deep dig at the 58-year-old’s shtick. “Leave it to Charles Barkley to do the mental gymnastics it takes in finding a connection between NBA and San Antonio women, just so he can bash the latter again and again and again,” wrote the author on MySanAntonio.com.
But as far as Barkley is concerned, the censorship of his jokes and commentary is yet another way cancel culture is stripping life of fun. “You can’t even have fun nowadays without these jackasses trying to get you canceled and things like that. Just having fun, talking about sports,” said Barkley. However, the former NBA MVP made it clear he won’t be subjecting himself to dealIng with the fun patrol for much longer.
“I’m trying to hang on for another couple years until I’m 60, and then they can kiss my ass. I’m only working until 60,” said Barkley, who joined TNT 21 years ago. “I’ve already told them that. … We can’t even have fun anymore. 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.”
Barkley is not alone in expressing his frustrations with cancel culture. Comedian Kevin Hart shared with “The Sunday Times” that society has an unrealistic expectation for people to be perfect and non-offensive all the time.
“If somebody has done something truly damaging then, absolutely, a consequence should be attached,” said Hart. “But when you just talk about … nonsense? When you’re talking, ‘Someone said! They need to be taken [down]!’ Shut the f*** up! What are you talking about?”
Regardless of their stance on cancel culture, Barkley’s fans and critics have plenty to say about his controversial joke.