Charles Barkley reacts to Drew Brees’ controversial comments, strong backlash
TNT’s “Inside the NBA” returned to the airwaves on Thursday, but the crew was not their usual jovial selves as they discussed systematic racism amid the George Floyd protests happening across the nation. As part of this conversation, Charles Barkley opened up about his thoughts on Drew Brees’ recent comments pertaining to Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem.
While Barkley admitted he was unhappy with Brees’ initial statement, he was also in a forgiving mood:
“Drew’s original statement, I thought, was insensitive — it was very insensitive, especially during this time. But I thought the negative reaction from every talking head on television and some of his teammates was overkill,” said Barkley, via Steven Loung of Sportsnet. “I’ve never heard a bad word about Drew Brees in my life. He made a mistake, but we’ve gotten to the point in society where everybody on social media thinks they are God, judge and jury. Drew Brees made a mistake.”
To be clear, Barkley is not defending Brees’ original statement. The Basketball Hall of Famer could not disagree more about it. However, what Barkley is pointing out here is that he thinks Brees is a good guy who made a mistake, and the extremely negative reaction was “overkill.”
Charles Barkley is trying to act as voice of reason here, and instead of joining the hate train, he’s taking a bit of a high road approach. For his part, Barkley has made several mistakes throughout his career — both as a player and a broadcaster — so perhaps this is where he is coming from in standing up for the embattled Brees.