Former NBA star Charles Barkley has shown himself to be an independent thinker in the years since he left the hardwood and began his second career as a sports commentator. In 2016, he was shouted down and eventually booed off stage by a town hall audience in Baltimore after he defended law enforcement. Last year he slammed black athletes and rappers for their anti-Semitic remarks, stating, “I don’t understand how you beat hatred with more hatred.”
“I don’t understand how you beat hatred with more hatred.”
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) July 17, 2020
As is true with all liberated thinkers, Barkley sometimes shares opinions that are surprising coming from him. Take his comments on who should get preferential treatment when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine.
The NBA Hall of Famer … thinks professional athletes should get to essentially cut the line to get vaccinated as the nation currently prioritizes health care and essential workers as well as people 65 and older who are at higher risk for serious COVID-19 complications.
“We need 300 million shots … give a thousand to some NBA players, NFL players, hockey players,” Barkley said. … “As much taxes as these players pay — let me repeat that — as much taxes as these players pay, they deserve some preferential treatment.”
In essence, Barley is advocating preferential treatment to rich Americans, who pay more taxes. The current average salary for NBA player salary is $7.7 million with top players earning as much as $40.2 million. The amounts are consistent with the sums earned by Fortune 500 CEOs, who average $11.5 million a year.