Charles Barkley: Mike Pence ‘needs to shut the hell up’
Charles Barkley issued a strong response to Vice President Mike Pence.
Earlier on Thursday, Pence weighed in on the NBA’s Hong Kong-China controversy. Pence said the NBA sided with the Chinese government by silencing free speech.
“Some of the NBA’s biggest players and owners who routinely exercise their freedom to criticize this country lose their voices when it comes to the freedom and rights of the people of China,” Pence said. “It’s siding with the Chinese Communist Party and silencing free speech.
“The NBA is acting like a wholly owned subsidiary of that authoritarian regime,” Pence added. “A progressive corporate culture that willfully ignores the abuse of human rights is not progressive, it is repressive.”
— CBS News (@CBSNews) October 24, 2019
TNT had NBA Commissioner Adam Silver on as a guest for their pregame show on Thursday night prior to the Bucks-Rockets game. They discussed the China matter, and Barkley had harsh words for Pence.
“Vice President Pence needs to shut the hell up, number one,” Barkley said. “All American companies are doing business in China. I thought the criticism of Commissioner Silver and LeBron James was unfair. Daryl Morey, who I like, he can say whatever he wants but there are consequences. I don’t understand why all these holier-than-thou politicians, if they so want to worry about China, why don’t they stop all transactions with China?
“I think it’s unfair for them to do all their business in China, and just because this thing happened, try to make the NBA and their players look bad.”
A similar discussion arose on Tuesday ahead of the league’s first games of the season. Shaq backed Daryl Morey over his tweet, citing America’s core tenant of free speech. Barkley also pushed back at that time.
Morey’s expression of support for protesters in Hong Kong was backed by members of both political parties. However, there were some, like Barkley, who felt the criticism of the league went too far. Others felt the NBA and its players showed serious inconsistency for their willingness to speak out against injustice in America but not in a country where they do business. LeBron James even went so far as to express a belief Morey should have been punished for supporting the protesters.
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