Former NBA player Charles Barkley isn't done talking about the controversy caused by Brooklyn Nets All-Star Kyrie Irving. Barkley believes that the NBA as a whole should've dealt with the issue aggressively, rather than being passive with it.
Barkley shared his disappointment with the players around the league for not taking addressing the Irving situation assertively. On Tom Brady's "Let's Go! with Tom Brady, Larry Fitzgerald and Jim Gray" podcast, the NBA legend said:
"I went right after Kyrie because what he said was wrong. It was inappropriate. And I went at (NBA commissioner) Adam Silver, who I really like. I said, ‘You should have suspended him a week ago.’
"Adam especially, him being Jewish, to insult your religion, and I’m paying you $40 million a year? And I was disappointed in the players for not standing up, saying something. You can’t just get upset when something happens against the Black community if you’re Black."
Irving's suspension ended after eight games. He to returned to the court on Sunday against the Memphis Grizzlies. It was reported that the seven-time All-Star completed the list of demands given by the Nets organization for him to be able to resume playing.
Since then, the 2011-12 Rookie of the Year has received support from fans and other players in the league. The most notable support came from Irving's former teammate, Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics. Brown believes that Irving isn't antisemitic and that the punishment given to him was too much.
"I don't believe Kyrie Irving is antisemitic," Brown said. "I don't believe Kyrie Irving is antisemitic."
Charles Barkley's first instance of calling out Kyrie Irving
Charles Barkley's been known to voice anything in his mind, whether it's something most people agree with or not. After an antisemitic incident involving Irving, Barkley called out the star guard and the NBA. He wasn't afraid to call out the entire league for not dealing with the issue quickly enough.
On to CNN, he expressed his thoughts on the situation caused by Kyrie.
"People have the right to feel and say what they want to," Barkley said. "They have freedom of speech. But there are repercussions when you say certain things. This thing with free speech has really gotten out of hand. You just can't go around insulting people and think it's OK because it's freedom of speech.
"You should be called out if you said something stupid. Hey, I've been called out many times, and I have no problem with that."
Since then, the Round Mound of Rebound has been expressive in his thoughts of how the league has handled the situation.
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