‘I’m So Disappointed:’ Former NBA Star Charles Barkley Berates Nick Cannon, Other Black Celebrities for Antisemitic Remarks
Former NBA superstar Charles Barkley voiced his disappointment on Thursday in black celebrities including Nick Cannon, DeSean Jackson, Stephen Jackson and Ice Cube for their recent antisemitic remarks.
The former Philadelphia 76er — who was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006 — called out the four public figures by name during the most recent episode of his podcast “The Steam Room.”
“These black men out here who have been antisemitic, it’s gotta stop, man,” he said. “What the hell are y’all doin? Y’all want racial equality. We all do. I don’t understand how insulting another group helps our cause. I don’t understand in any shape or form.”
“I’m asking you guys. I’m begging you guys, man. You guys are famous, you got a platform. But I don’t understand how you can fight hatred with more hatred. I’m disappointed in you guys. We gotta do better…Please do better guys,” he added. “We can’t allow black people to be prejudiced also, especially if we’re asking for white folks to respect us, give us economic opportunity and things like that. I’m so disappointed in these men. If you want respect, you got to give respect, but I don’t understand how you beat hatred with more hatred.”
The 57-year-old also criticized what he called “lightweight” and “flimsy” apologies issued by black celebrities, saying they come across as non-genuine. “I think sometimes when you say stuff like that you really mean it,” he explained. “You just got—people called you on it. But I don’t understand how that could be in your vocabulary and in your heart. I don’t understand. I’m never gonna accept it.”
Barkley applauded NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for calling out the lack of outrage in the sports and entertainment industries over recent incidents of antisemitism. He also posited that antisemitic comments are not helping the efforts of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“Especially at a time when you’re asking people to respect black people, that black lives matter,” he said. “This whole George Floyd thing has opened up a great dialogue to some of the problems in the black community. And instead of trying to engage and find allies, we’re just trying to alienate more people. I want allies. I don’t want to alienate anybody. And to take shots at the Jewish, the white race, I just don’t like it ’cause it’s not right.”
“Ya’ll want people to respect you but you don’t wanna respect other people. It doesn’t work like that.”
Listen to Barkley’s remarks in the recording below: