- The Washington Times
Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Basketball legend Charles Barkley will be leaving his decades-long hosting gig on TNT’s “Inside the NBA” program — and he blames cancel culture.

In an appearance on Washington sports-radio station WJFK, 106.7 The Fan, Mr. Barkley slammed as “jackasses” the social-justice warriors who launch online attacks, and even criticized his bosses and co-hosts on TNT.

“It’s gotten so out of hand right now, I couldn’t imagine having to watch myself. You can’t even have fun nowadays without these jackasses trying to get you canceled and things like that.”

As a result, the 58-year-old Philadelphia 76ers and Phoenix Suns star will be out the door in two years.

“[I’m] 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 any more. 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,” Mr. Barkley said.

The man nicknamed both “Sir Charles” and “the round mound of rebound” said fear of cancel culture is chilling the chemistry between he and his fellow hosts — which has made the show a smash since Mr. Barkley joined in 2000.

“All we ever talk about behind the scenes now is, ‘Yo man, be careful going in this direction.’ We can’t even have fun any more,” Mr. Barkley said. “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.”

Not that the people behind the scenes are more courageous, he said.

“A lot of our bosses are cowards,” he said, citing specifically a decades-old joke he makes about the women in San Antonio and how, among much else, they should “ease up on them churros.”

“They won’t even let me talk about San Antonio any more! You know, when I’m always talking about them big ol’ women down in San Antonio?” he said, referring to a city whose “baseline bums” die-hards regularly taunted him, especially during his time with the Suns.

He noted that he “didn’t call anybody personally fat in San Antonio, I was just joking around. One lady wrote this article, you’re gonna let one lady [cancel the joke] – we’ve been having fun with this for 10, 15 years.”

• Victor Morton can be reached at vmorton@washingtontimes.com.

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