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Despite all the "noise," has anything actually changed?
We saw massive protests in the aftermath of George Floyd's death.
Nearly every company and every CEO has issued statements denouncing racism.
Democrats took advantage of the situation to slam President Trump and Republicans, while protecting radicals who are issuing calls to "defund the police."
The silent majority is beginning to speak out, and Charles Barkley is among those on the front lines.
The legendary athlete criticized major sports leagues for becoming a woke "circus" that isn't actually producing any real results.
Instead of attempting to unite people, sports is turning into another place for virtue signaling.
Charles Barkley also emphasized that sports are supposed to be an escape from the stresses of the real world.
But now, sports leagues are wanting to join the circus.
More details below:
In his statement, Charles Barkley said that we are missing the point if we're focused on who's kneeling or what athletes are wearing on their jerseys.
Barkley said that by turning sports into a political "circus," the actual message is getting lost.
According to USA Today:
Hall of Fame basketball player Charles Barkley said the sports world's focus on social justice statements is becoming a distracting "circus" that doesn't fully address core issues the country is facing or produce real change.
In a guest appearance Friday on CNBC, Barkley said he's felt the national spotlight — on athletes and the media covering them — shines too brightly on statements like kneeling during the national anthem or social justice messages displayed on jerseys.
"What's happening now is we're turning into a circus," said Barkley, a basketball analyst for Turner Sports. "Instead of talking about racial equality, racial justice and economic justice, we spend all our time worrying about who's kneeling and not kneeling. What's being said on buses. What's been said on jerseys. I think we're missing the point.
"We need police reform, prison reform. Those are No. 1 and No. 2 things to focus on. We need the cops, good cops out there policing bad cops. ... When we spend time focusing on what's on the jersey, that's gonna defeat purpose. My concern is this is turning into a circus instead of trying to do some good stuff."
The NBA announced plans last week that players in Orlando will be allowed to showcase social justice-related messages on the back of their jerseys with phrases that include “Black Lives Matter,” "I Can't Breathe" and “Equality." Barkley said the influx of social justice messages could turn off fans just looking for escapism.
"We are in a divided country," Barkley said. "Sports used to be a place where fans could go and get away from reality. Now it's such a mixture. It's going to be fascinating watching what happens with the fans. Fans are at a disadvantage, they're going through the pandemic. They don't want to see a bunch of rich people talking about stuff all the time. I don't think there's a right or wrong answer. People lost jobs and the last thing they want to do is turn on the television to hear arguments about stuff all the time. It's going to be very interesting to see how the public reacts."
The NBA is restarting its season on July 31.
As sports games begin, all eyes will be on the athletes and how they conduct themselves.
Many people will be watching to see who stands and respects the flag during the national anthem. Unfortunately, there are many athletes who have pledged to kneel.
Barkley's comments are resonating deeply with many sports fans across the nation.
Many Americans turn to sports for an "escape" from the rigors of the real world.
But now, athletes are wanting to politicize virtually every sport in existance.
The Blaze confirms Barkley's comments:
As TheBlaze reported, for example, the NBA will allow players to display social justice messages on their jerseys once the season resumes later this month. Additionally, the phrase "Black Lives Matter" will be plastered on NBA courts.
Meanwhile, the NFL has said it was "wrong" to oppose national anthem protests.
But according to Barkley, a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, sports leagues are turning their games into a woke "circus."
"My concern is turning this into a circus instead of trying to do some good stuff," Barkley told CNBC's "Power Lunch."
Barkley explained that players should focus their energy on making real, lasting change — not on social justice messages and who is kneeling during the national anthem.
"We need police reform, we need prison reform," Barkley said.
In fact, the former basketball MVP said sports leagues may face backlash from fans who look to sports for a reprieve from the stress of life — not to be lectured about politics.
"The last thing they want to do is turn on the television and hear arguments all the time. It's going to be very interesting to see how the public react," Barkley said.
Barkley's comments are sure to incite backlash — which would not be new for the 11-time NBA all-star.
In 2017, Barkley was heavily criticized for refusing to outright condemn Confederate statues, instead urging activists to focus on reforming the black community.
Barkley is a legend for a reason.
Perhaps today's young athletes should look up to him as a role model and try to understand why he continues to be respected by so many today.
Thank you, Charles, for speaking up!