Charles Barkley 'sick' of protests during national anthem, wants 'solutions'

Posted at 1:19 PM, Oct 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-18 16:19:14-04

Former Phoenix Suns great Charles Barkley is never shy about his opinions, including on all things politics. 

On Tuesday, as the NBA opened the 2017-18 season, Barkley weighed in on the ongoing protests that are taking place during the national anthem at NFL games in order to raise awareness about racial injustice and police brutality.

Barkley's take: Less protesting, more action.

"I'm sick of hearing about protests. It's time for us to put some action (behind it)," Barkley said Tuesday during NBA on TNT. "I'm proud of NFL players for finally getting together with the owners (Tuesday), talking about prison reform and things like that. We've got to work with the police.

"I want these players -- they've got so much money and so much visibility, they can go to the owners of these teams and say, 'Hey, listen, let's go to these communities and put some time and some effort in there.' We have spent so much time worrying about who's kneeling and who's got the fist up, we have not come up with solutions. So I'm sick of hearing about the anthem protests."

This isn't the first time Barkley has recently weighed in on a political topic that has bled into the sports world. Last month, he said he was disappointed by Steph Curry's announcement that he would likely not visit the White House following the Warriors' 2017 NBA title -- an announcement that prompted President Trump to disinvite Curry.

NBA on TNT cohost and former Suns center Shaquille O'Neal echoed Barkley's sentiments about the ongoing protests.

"I agree with Chuck. Enough talking. When are we going to do something about it?" he said.

"The problem has been, even though one message is being said, when you allow people to deviate from what you're trying to do, they can create other problems. They always say, 'We're not disrespecting the flag.' But when you allow people to say you are disrespecting the flag by doing it during the national anthem, is the message really being heard?

"So now, like Chuck has said, enough talking. Let's just get something done. Make this world a better place."

Barkley said he wants people of all races and ethnicities to come together to find solutions to racial inequality.

"We're all in this thing together," he said. "It ain't a black or white thing. It ain't a cop against people. It's all of us."