Charles Barkley: Sports, Media Are Turning Social Justice Issues into a ‘Circus’

Friday on CNBC’s “Power Lunch,” former NBA player Charles Barkley said he was concerned sports teams and the media focus were turning social justice into a “circus.”

Host Kelly Evans asked, “One of the other things that’s happening with all the seasons is all these social justice messages. The back and forth over the anthem, over the flag, over standing or kneeling, the words that are going to be on back of jerseys, is there too much politics in sports?”

Barkley said, “I think what’s happening now is we have turned it into a circus. We are going to spend time instead of talking about racial equality, racial justice and economic justice. We spend all our time worried about who is kneeling and what’s being said on buses, what is being said on jerseys. I think we’re missing the point. We need police reform. We need prison reform.”

He added, “Those are number one and two things we need to focus on. We need the cops. We need the good cops out there policing the bad cops. We need police reform and prison reform. But the media — you know we all got a job to do, but they will spend all their time on what’s on somebody’s jersey and what’s on the buses and who is kneeling and whose not kneeling. That’s going to defeat the purpose. My concern is turning this into a circus instead of trying to do some good stuff.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN


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