Charles Barkley isn’t a fan of cancel culture.
The legendary NBA player appeared on CNN’s morning show, and briefly touched on Kyrie Irving’s suspension for sharing anti-semitic comments and content.
While Barkley made it clear he’s against cancel culture, he has no problem with people being “called to the carpet” if they’ve said something stupid.
“I don’t like using the term cancel culture. Because I don’t want anybody canceled. But you should be called to the carpet if you said something wrong. I don’t believe somebody should lose their job or things like that. But you should be called out if you said something stupid. Hey, I’ve been called out many times, I have no problem with that,” Barkley explained when speaking to the CNN hosts.
Barkley says he supports the suspension of the Brooklyn Nets star, but absolutely believes Kyrie should be able to play again.
Where did it all go wrong for Kyrie Irving?
Kyrie, most notably, shared an Instagram story seemingly promoting the anti-Semitic film “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America,” which is still available on Amazon. It’s probably worth asking why Amazon has taken a fraction of the heat as Kyrie for actually profiting of anti-Semitism.
Following multiple refusals to apologize, Kyrie was hit with an open-ended suspension. He last played at the start of November. In order to return, he must meet multiple conditions, including condemning the film, donating money to anti-hate causes and undergo anti-Semitism training.
Nike also pulled his shoe. Clearly, in the eyes of Barkley, that’s not being canceled. It’s him being “called to the carpet.”
Barkley’s stance is likely similar to the way a lot of people feel. Canceling people is outrageous and almost always not necessary. At the same time, actions have consequences. If you say something stupid, people have the right to not associate with you. That’s the reality of the beast.
We saw the same thing with Kanye West when Adidas pulled his deal following anti-Semitic remarks, including bizarre comments about the Holocaust.
Education is almost always the best avenue. People change when they learn more. I’m not sure they change when people shut them down and isolate them. Barkley’s strategy isn’t a bad one. Maybe, just maybe, if we attempt to reach out and educate, people would have much more open minds.