Charles Barkley gets crucified for defending cops in Breonna Taylor shooting

Robert Marvi
3 Min Read

Throughout the NBA playoffs, the league’s biggest stars have advocated for justice for Black men and women who have been impacted by police violence and institutional racism.

On Wednesday, a grand jury decided not to indict any of the police officers who killed Breonna Taylor with any charges directly related to her death.

TNT’s Charles Barkley seemed to have a different view of the incident compared to that of many others, and he made it clear on the set of “Inside the NBA.”

“It’s just bad the young lady lost her life, but we do have to take into account that her boyfriend did shoot at the cops and shot a cop,” Barkley said. “So, like I say, even though I’m really sorry she lost her life, I don’t think we can just put this in the same situation with George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery. I just don’t believe that.”

Fellow TNT commentator Shaquille O’Neal agreed with Barkley.

“I have to agree with Charles, this one is sort of lumped in,” O’Neal said. “You have to get a warrant signed and some states do allow no-knock warrants. And everyone was asking for murder charges. When you talk about murder, you have to show intent. A homicide occurred and we’re sorry a homicide occurred. When you have a warrant signed by the judge, you are doing your job, and I would imagine that you would fire back.”

In the wake of the recent killings of Taylor and Floyd, many progressives have been calling to defund the police. It’s a policy proposal that calls for reduction in law enforcement funding and presence.

Barkley also said that he doesn’t support such a proposal, which led to him being scalded on social media.

“I hear these fools on TV talk about ‘defund the police’ and things like that.” he said. “We need police reform and prison reform and things like that. Because you know who ain’t gonna defund the cops, white neighborhoods and rich neighborhoods. So that notion they keep saying that, I’m like wait a minute who are Black people supposed to call? Ghostbusters when we have crime in our neighborhoods? We need police reform.”

As a whole, the NBA has been vocal about the need for police reform in general, as well as improvement in other issues that affect people of color, such as increased voter turnout.

Players such as LeBron James have not only been outspoken about social justice but have also taken action.

James’ “More Than a Vote” initiative is aimed at stopping voter suppression, an issue that some contend disproportionately affects the African-American community.

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Robert is a native of Santa Monica, Calif. and a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has been an avid NBA and NFL fan since he was a little kid in the mid-'90s, and he has always loved soaking up knowledge about both leagues and their respective histories. He feels strongly that sports aren't just entertainment, but also a means for learning life lessons.