Charles Barkley says cancel culture has ruined the fun for ‘NBA on TNT’
Charles Barkley is one of the few remaining sports analysts who is not afraid to speak his mind, but the Hall of Famer said this week that even he has grown tired of being muzzled while on the air.
During an appearance on 106.7 The Fan’s “Grant and Danny” show with Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier on Monday, Barkley discussed how “politically correct people” are trying to ruin TNT’s “Inside the NBA.” The 58-year-old said he is only planning to work for two more years because of it.
“You can’t even have fun nowadays without these jackas-es trying to get you canceled and things like that,” Barkley said, as transcribed by Edward Sutelan of Sporting News. “Just having fun, talking about sports. I’m trying to hang on for another couple years until I’m 60, and then they can kiss my ass. I’m only working until 60. I’ve already told them that. … We can’t even have fun anymore. We’ve had fun all these years, and now all of a sudden in the last year and a half, everybody’s trying to get everybody fired, and it really sucks.”
Barkley said many of the edgy jokes he and his colleagues make come at a time when they are trying to make TNT’s coverage of a “crap game” more interesting.
“Nobody’s watching this game. Our relatives (are) not even watching this show after this,” he said. “And then, so about 1 o’clock, you’re like, ‘Man, I’m going to say something just to have some fun.’ But like I said, now you really have to think about all the fun stuff you used to say.”
Barkley added that context used to matter but “a lot of our bosses are cowards.” He referenced how he used to crack jokes about the women of San Antonio, which he says he can’t do anymore. Though, it wasn’t that long ago that Barkley made a similar remark about Georgia women.
There’s a reason Barkley is one of the most popular analysts on television. Most fans who enjoy “Inside the NBA” love that the cast seems authentic and unfiltered. If executives are trying to remove that element, you can understand why Barkley is losing interest in being a part of it.