There’s some tension between Brooklyn Nets player Kyrie Irving and “Inside the NBA” analyst Charles Barkley.
The two feuded after Irving made a comment about how he is being mistreated by the media. The player took part in a media blackout that recently ended. He was claiming he felt like a “pawn” to the media.
Charles Barkley Slams Irving’s Attitude
“It’s really just about how I felt about the mistreatment of certain artists when we get to a certain platform of when we make decisions within our lives to have full control and ownership. We want to perform in a secure and protected space,” Irving said.
Then, Barkley was on ESPN’s “Keyshawn, JWill & Zubin” morning show when he lost his patience with the NBA player. Irving has been threatening to boycott the media this season. His media boycott did end, however, resulting in a fine for the team and Irving.
“Being with the media is part of your professional obligation, and you can say what you want to say. But these guys today, they’re different. I don’t hate on them, but I’m not sure what point Kyrie is trying to make,” Barkley said on the show.
According to Sports Illustrated, Barkley took it a step farther than just disagreeing with his point about the media. Barkley, a former professional basketball player himself, told Irving he needs to realize “Yo, man, you do realize you’re just a basketball player, right?”
In all honesty, it sounds like Charles Barkley is just all kinds of confused on what point Irving is trying to make in general.
“When he talks, I’m like, “What the hell is he trying — what is he saying or what is he trying to say?’ He starts talking about what an artist he is. He’s a basketball player … Listen, we’re not frontline responders. We’re not teachers. Yo, man, you dribble a basketball, stop acting like you’re the smartest person in the world,” Barkley said.
While Barkley supports Irving talking about social justice, anything else is just too much and he should “shut the hell up and talk basketball.”
A Charles Barkley and Kyrie Irving interview on “Inside the NBA” sure would be interesting now.
Kyrie Irving and Social Justice
Charles Barkley made it clear he is all for Irving’s efforts in social justice. In fact, Irving is well-known for always speaking his mind. He’s almost as well-known for that as he is his Game 7 clutch in the 2016 NBA Finals.
In July, Irving supported WNBA players. For playing the same game in a professional league, female basketball players often just barely make six figures.
According to Complex, many of them skipped the restart in Orlando due to COVID-19 or social justice concerns. Irving then donated $1.5 million through his KAI Empowerment Initiative to help these women who decided to sit out.
In addition, the basketball player worked with Common to create a Breonna Taylor documentary. She was killed by police while sleeping in her own apartment.
The documentary was called #SAYHERNAME: Breonna Taylor. He resisted the idea of NBA returning to their season in 2016, also.
The player has also donated vegan burgers to food banks and stood with the Standing Rock Sioux in 2016. He also wore an “I can’t breathe” shirt in 2014. This was to spread awareness for Eric Garner who was choked to death by an NYPD officer. The same phrase would again be used in spreading awareness for the murder of George Floyd.
“This is bigger than all of us … We have to take a stand together and it’s truly important that we do. What happened is a tragedy and I feel terrible about it,” Irving said.
This seems to be his perspective on many issues. He takes social justice straight to the heart and has been supporting movements to point out racial injustice since he started playing the game.