Former NBA star Charles Barkley has come out against the “idiots” criticizing the NBA over the China controversy, and defended the league by pointing out the “billions of dollars” that are at stake.
Despite China’s long history of human rights abuses, the TNT sports commentator and former Houston Rockets star called critics of the NBA, “jackasses.”
Not only are critics, “idiots” and “jackasses,” but they are also “hypocrites,” as far as Barkley is concerned.
The former player spoke out on the Dan Patrick Show on Thursday evoking Colin Kaepernick.
“First of all, you guys have been killing Colin Kaepernick for the last X amount of years,” Barkley said. “Now, all the sudden you want to control what happens in a foreign country?”
Barkley went on to slam NBA critics and excused the league’s actions away because of the money at stake.
“They have billions of dollars at stake,” Barkley says. “It’s a business decision. I understand the NBA. The players and the owners both got billions of dollars at stake.”
Barkley also slammed the “idiots and jackasses and fools” criticizing the NBA and reiterated his point about the cash saying, “The NBA makes billions of dollars in China and that goes to the owners and the players. So, it’s a business decision, and I totally understand it.”
Obviously, Barkley is thrilled when players attack Americans for not toeing the progressive line despite the costs to the bottom line, but when it comes time to criticizing the very real human rights abuses in China, Barkley thinks the money should dictate free speech.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.