Would Charles Barkley Just STFU Already?

Illustration for article titled Would Charles Barkley Just STFU Already?
Photo: Christian Petersen (Getty Images)

As anyone with a TV set or access to Blu Ivy’s internet is acutely aware of by now, Charles Barkley lives to say stupid things.


Whether it’s joining forces with Candace Owens to be loud and wrong about defunding the police, threatening women with physical violence, or just making painfully obtuse observations about race, it’s quite clear that The Round Mound of Rebound could do Western civilization a favor by just shutting the entire fuck up sometimes.

Sadly, silence isn’t part of Barkley’s ministry, which leads to inevitable moments such as this:

“We need 300 million shots. Giving a thousand to some NBA players, NFL players, hockey players,” he fumed on Thursday’s edition of Inside the NBA. “Listen, as much taxes as these players pay—let me repeat that—as much taxes as these players pay, they deserve some preferential treatment.”

That’s when co-host Kenny Smith, whose cape is rumored to be unionizing over unfair labor, attempted to come to his rescue: “For life and death? The amount of money you make...”

But Sir Charles wasn’t having it and insisted that his argument wasn’t based on income, but taxes. To which Kenny offered a word of warning: “We can’t go there. I don’t think you can go there.”

At least somebody on that set is able to pair compassion with common sense.

Never mind that outside of maybe Dolly Parton or Bill Gates the affluent haven’t done much to help thwart this global pandemic—though billionaires have had no problem exploiting our anguish for personal gain—but Barkley’s suggestion sounds eerily similar to the plot for Elysium, or some other Hollywood blockbuster in which survival of the fittest amounts to “How many Kardashians do you have in your Rolodex?”


But aside from the economic boost that professional sports provide—from broadcast revenue, sports betting, fantasy leagues, and all that money cycling back into our economy—this is a pretty preposterous argument to make. It also wasn’t the basis of Barkley’s argument, remember? Because if you let him tell it, paying exorbitant taxes alone is just cause to skip the line.

Never mind that healthcare workers have been busting their asses non-stop for the last 10 months to keep our selfish asses alive or the fact that the coronavirus has disproportionally impacted communities of color—or the fact that professional athletes are some of the healthiest people on planet Earth and among the least at-risk communities when it comes to COVID-19. Barkley believes the same people eluding all of this devastation by hiding in disaster bunkers should be prioritized.


Did I not tell you this man lives to say stupid shit?

Plus there isn’t a single thing that Kelly Oubre deserves over any one of us other than our collective scorn for playing like absolute dog shit so far this season.


So much like just about everything else that comes out of Charles Barkley’s mouth, this is turrible.

Perhaps Aerosmith was on to something when they told us to “Eat the Rich”.

Menace to supremacy. Founder of Extraordinary Ideas and co-host and producer of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast. Impatiently waiting for y'all to stop putting sugar in grits.



Paying a ton in taxes as a reason to jump the vaccination line should be Reason #1 people much poorer than the folks he mentioned should be light-years ahead of the line. Unless all the players he mentioned have been cursed with shitty accountants as a percentage of income they’re not that heavily taxed.