Charles Barkley is a man who does not shy away from expressing his opinions — in matters relating to basketball or otherwise — and so it was no surprise when the former NBA legend deviated from the script to take a swipe at Donald Trump on national television Thursday night.
Current co-host of NBA on TNT, Barkley has made a name for himself as a popular television analyst since retiring as a player more than a decade ago. Part of that popularity is down to the way he articulates his opinions, but also because Charles Barkley has made it a habit to echo many of his viewers’ sentiments. So when Inside the NBA host Ernie Johnson asked Barkley on Thursday night his thoughts on the state of the presidential race — and by extension his views on Donald Trump — Barkley was unrelenting in his denouncement.
“This Donald Trump thing has been fascinating, sad, funny… it’s all over the place. It’s been sad to watch him insult people and then see his numbers go up.. [Trump] started out by insulting Hispanics … now to lump all the Muslims together, that’s even more insulting. This is the United States of America, this is the greatest place in the world. Do we have issues? Of course we have issues. But to try to divide and conquer, which is what the Republicans always try to do, is just sad.”
That was not all. A self-confessed Democrat, Barkley went on to brand Donald Trump’s supporters as “losers,” arguing that one of the reasons for the Republican candidate’s enduring popularity could be ignorance, according to USA Today.
“Then you have these losers who love that, because they’re afraid to look in the mirror and see why their life sucks. So they have to blame other people. Your life sucks because of you, not because of Hispanics.”
Once on a roll, there was hardly anything that could have stopped Charles Barkley. Trying to diagnose the reason as to why Donald Trump’s popularity had risen dramatically over the last few months, Barkley laid the blame solely on media’s shoulders, pointing out that the way Trump has been covered by American media is unacceptable and shameful. He even went on to rip TNT’s sister channel CNN to shreds, saying its coverage of the 2016 election wasn’t fair or unprejudiced.
“CNN has done an awful job this election. They have followed ratings and sound bites this entire cycle. And I love CNN because they’re a part of our company, but they’ve been kissing butts and chasing ratings. They’ve become like Fox News… And it’s become sad that our company has sold its soul for ratings.”
Now that is a statement that could get Barkley in hot soup. It is the kind of thing one would expect from Donald Trump — known for his political incorrectness — so it was sort of ironic to see Sir Charles pulling a Trump and not caring about who (or what) became the subject of his criticism.
You can view Charles Barkley’s complete views on Donald Trump in the video embedded below.
[Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images]