Charles Barkley has never shied away from being edgy, and he believes those who think he’s crossed the line at times are simply trying to “cancel” him.
In recent years, shouting “cancel culture” has become the rallying cry for those who have been chastised for perceived missteps. Barkley, a former NBA star who is now an analyst on TNT’s wildly popular “Inside The NBA” studio show, claims that’s what’s happening to him.
Here’s the background: Barkley has a long-running gag of teasing the women of San Antonio, calling them, to borrow his term, “Big ole’ women.” Turns out, his bosses at TNT asked him to stop using that bit.
He wasn’t happy about that.
“If you crack a joke the wrong way,” Barkley said on “The Fan” in Washington, D.C., via Sports Illustrated. “They’re like, ‘Oh, no, no, no, you crossed the line.’ I mean, they won’t even let me talk about San Antonio anymore when I’m always talking about their big ole women down in San Antonio. They’re like, ‘Charles, we got one lady (who) wrote an article.’ “I’m like, ‘First of all, I didn’t call anybody personally fat in San Antonio; I was just joking around. … We’ve been having fun with this for probably 10-15 years. We go to San Antonio; the people are having a blast with it. The people in San Antonio had T-shirts made up.”
Then came the cancel culture claim.
“You can’t even have fun nowadays without these characters trying to get you canceled and things like that. … I’m trying to hang on for another couple of years until I’m 60 and then they can kiss my ass. I’m only working until 60. I’ve already told them that. I’m not working until the day I die. That?s just stupid. And if I don’t have enough money by now, I’m an idiot, anyway. They should fire me, anyway.”
Barkley is 58 years old, so if he’s serious about calling it a career as a broadcaster when he’s 60, then he’s running out of runway — one that will get even shorter if “cancel culture” really is out to get him.