Charles Barkley’s comedic jab at ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins on Thursday night’s broadcast of TNT’s “Inside the NBA” was a refreshing reminder of the importance of accuracy and fairness in sports commentary. Perkins had recently made race-baiting comments about NBA MVP voting, claiming that Nikola Jokić, a two-time MVP and frontrunner for a third, who is Serbian, was receiving biased support from white voters. However, this claim is factually incorrect, and Perkins has faced criticism for his remarks.
Charles Barkley "comes off the top rope" to throw shade at Kendrick Perkins pic.twitter.com/WeHpad9G1G
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) March 10, 2023
In response, Barkley delivered a comical joke to co-host Shaquille O’Neal, suggesting that the only reason he wants to vote for Milwaukee Bucks player Giannis Antetokounmpo, is because he is black. The exchange between Barkley and O’Neal highlighted the absurdity of Perkins’ remarks and added some levity to the discussion.
— First Take (@FirstTake) March 1, 2023
Uh oh, JJ Redick just went on ESPN and accused them of making up racism narratives. Good for Redick. He’s 100% right here. Kendrick Perkins said last week Jokic is getting the MVP because he’s white. pic.twitter.com/F3VhHPShMo
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) March 7, 2023
The politically correct left has become increasingly obsessed with race-baiting and identity politics in recent years, and Perkins’ comments are a prime example of this. It is important to remember that race should not be a factor in sports commentary or any other form of discourse. Perkins’ comments were not only factually incorrect, but they were also divisive and inflammatory.
Barkley’s humorous retort serves as a reminder that we should strive for accuracy and fairness in our sports commentary. We should not be making baseless claims about race or any other social issue. Instead, we should be focusing on the facts and celebrating the accomplishments of athletes regardless of their race or ethnicity. It is also important to remember that we can still have fun and enjoy sports without resorting to divisive rhetoric.