Did somebody get to Charles Barkley? The only reason we have to watch anything related to the NBA is Chuck, who has a history of speaking bluntly, and in turn, hilariously. He says things out loud most people daren’t say. Usually it’s true.
That preface makes his appearance on Don Lemon’s new morning show all the more confusing. Whereas “The Round Mound of Rebound” has always leaned on his freedom of speech to communicate openly, he is suddenly poo-pooing freedom of expression, among fellow athletes, of all people, and saying the notion of free speech has gone too far.
Oh really? Like I said, someone must have gotten to him. Take a look as Barkley defends the NBA, rather than Kyrie Irving, over a recent issue of simply sharing a video on social media and defending that action:
Charles Barkley on @KyrieIrving: “This thing with free speech has really gotten out of hand, Don. You just can’t go around insulting people and think it’s okay just because it’s freedom of speech.” pic.twitter.com/vRyaAS0NAb
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) November 15, 2022
Lemon begins the interview by calling Sir Charles “outspoken,” which he didn’t like, before Barkley took over and proceeded to act as the language police.
Well, I don’t like that word outspoken, because, I hope anybody who sees racism in any form whatsoever to stand up, whether against a black person, a Hispanic person, a Jewish person, Asian, Asia nhate’s a big deal of this country right now.
So anybody should try to do the right thing. If you see something wrong, when it comes to race, or homophobic, or sexist, you should always say something.
So I’m always gonna do that. I don’t care about the repercussions.
The ideas being proffered by Barkley suggest we all agree on what constitutes hate speech. Does he not remember the last two years of what “misinformation” meant? Hate speech is simply speech you don’t like. People choose to be offended over it. Barkley also doesn’t seem to mind racism when it comes to making fun of white dudes. Should the NBA have suspended Andre Iguodala for saying his teammate was good enough for a white guy?
Like I said, the problem with this entire premise is that someone is arbitrarily deciding what makes up hate speech and what doesn’t. It never leads to anything good. Barkley continued:
People have the right to feel and say what they want to; we have freedom of speech. But there are repercussions when you say certain things. Listen, I don’t know Kyrie Irving. I don’t know if he’s a good guy or bad guy. I think he’s been suspended, rightfully so.
And I think he should come back and play in the NBA. But you know, that’s a really slippery slope. Because you know, people always talk about freedom of speech, to you say whatever you want to, but there are repercussions. I mean, and he’s paying for that right now.
But this thing where free speech is really gotten out of hand, Don. I mean, you just can’t go around and insulting people and think it’s okay, just because it’s freedom of speech.
Chuck should know better than most. What goes around comes around. As one user on Twitter said:
I follow basketball religiously. The things Charles has said, (hilarious) would land him in all sorts of hot water. Be careful what you wish for Chuck. There’s plenty of footage ‘incriminating you’ for your own freedom of speech.
As another aptly said:
We are getting to the part where “free speech” applies to certain groups or subsets but not to others.
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