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Charles Barkley Channels John Lewis, Defies NBA’s Good$ Trouble

On the night of the NBA’s return, Charles Barkley delivered the most defiant and courageous gesture.

Shortly after members of the Pelicans and Jazz uniformly kneeled during the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner, Barkley opined:

“The thing is, the national anthem means different things to different people. I’m glad these guys are all unified, but if people don’t kneel, they’re not a bad person. I want to make that perfectly clear. I’m glad they had unity, but if we have a guy that doesn’t want to kneel or the anthem means something to him, he should not be vilified.”

Barkley’s utterance took far more courage than the donning of Black Lives Matter T-shirts, the equality slogans stitched on the back of jerseys and the orchestrated knee bending in deference to Black Lives Marxist. 

BLM does not scare or defy the establishment. BLM is the establishment. It’s corporate-mandated civil obedience. It’s commercial goods trouble. As in the global sellers of commercial goods — Nike, for instance — promote BLM trouble as a way to resist President Trump’s isolationist, America First agenda.

Good$ trouble is the bastard child of Civil Rights icon John Lewis’ good trouble, the 1960s-style civil disobedience that fought America’s discriminatory laws.

In an effort to protect global expansion and global revenue streams, corporate America and Big Tech have mandated allegiance to Black Lives Matter. LeBron James, Adam Silver, Roger Goodell, the NFL and Major League Baseball have embraced BLM because their corporate sponsors have demanded it. 

There’s no risk or courage involved in taking a knee in 2020. The disobedience and rebellion will be shown by the athlete, coach, executive or media member willing to defy his/her corporate overlord. 

On the set of Inside the NBA last night, Charles Barkley flirted with civil disobedience. 

Corporate America wants anyone who fails to obey its BLM mandate framed as a racist or a sellout. Thursday night Big Tech’s social media apps accused Barkley of tap dancing for The Man.

Who’s The Man? Nike’s Phil Knight? Twitter’s Jack Dorsey? Amazon’s Jeff Bezos? Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg? 

Oh, that’s right. President Trump is The Man. The understanding of the world’s problems have been simplified to the point that anything that opposes Trump is classified as good$ trouble and anything that doesn’t, well, you know… the resistance has a negative way of defining that behavior:

Standing for the national anthem does not oppose Trump, therefore, bad people stand for the anthem

Bad people criticize the people who kneel during the national anthem

Only an unabashed Trump supporter would question the righteousness of the fraudulent Black Lives Matter movement.

What about those of us who have legitimate concerns about BLM’s ties to Marxism, stated agenda to disrupt the nuclear family and its singular focus on the very rare instances of black lives lost to white police misconduct?

There are some good people who have sincere religious faith who recognize Marxism is hostile to religion and religious freedom. There are some good people who believe strong nuclear families are the best weapon against the negative impact of racism. There are some good people who believe preventing the pervasive gang violence that takes innocent black lives on a daily basis should be a higher priority than preventing the police brutality that occasionally harms a resisting suspect. 

There are good people who believe it’s unwise to turn the national anthem into the national polarization. There are good people concerned that a lack of national pride will eventually undo all the good accomplished and racial progress made in this country. 

Good people love America and want to preserve the anthem as a moment of unity.  

Some good people are not obsessed with Donald Trump. They believe America’s founding principles — the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution — limit any president’s ability to permanently damage the United States of America. 

And you know what? Some good people think President Trump’s America First agenda is exactly what this country needs at this moment. They believe our culture has too much foreign influence and that American corporations with global aspirations could not care less about the average American citizen. 

Some good people see BLM for what it is — a beard masking major corporations’ pursuit of foreign dollars.

Corporate-approved slogans and gestures don’t end racism. They serve the interests of corporate deception. Decades ago, Big Tobacco baked cigarette smoking into American culture the way Big Tech is melding BLM into sports, movies and academia. 

That’s why I call LeBron James the new Marlboro Man and national kneeling Good$ Trouble. 

If you want Jason Whitlock for your TV or radio show or podcast, contact gary@outkick.com.

Written by Jason Whitlock

Jason Whitlock is a longtime sports writer, TV personality, radio host, podcaster and the newest member of the Outkick family.
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  1. It’s ironic that since this time last year REFUSING to kneel for the anthem has become the courageous protest against racial hatred. I’m not sure anyone doing it now even recalls the motivational origin of Kaepernick’s kneel: The protest of AMERICA itself based on the accusation of systemic racism. It’s not a protest against racism, it’s a protest against America according to its founder.

    “I am not standing up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”
    Kaepernick in August 27, 2016 interview with nfl.com

  2. Being white I confess that I do have “White Privilege”.
    I believe that the majority of whites also possess it.
    That privilege is nothing more than to be able to agree or disagree with any other ethnic person on any one subject.
    In the same vein, “Black Privilege” mostly does not exist.

    • I am a white man too, but I do not believe in “White Privilege”. I’m not exactly sure what your third sentence is pointing out, so I’m not attacking you, but because I feel strongly about this false concept in my opinion, so I wanted to comment.

      How do we ever get to a post racial society promoting this ideal? This is not 1968 (ironically though, this year is trending towards being as crazy as that year), our laws regarding equality have been fair for a long time, corporations go out of there way to make sure equal opportunity exists (so much so, they get behind misguided movements like BLM, without any critical thought). Are there still unjust situations, and a disproportionate amount of minorities in poverty, caught up in the legal system, etc, yes, but again, in my opinion, this has more to do with the destruction of the family, addiction and our shortage of good political leaders over the past 50 years then this guilt laden concept created by those that wish to divide not promote the melting pot.

      All the left has, is appeal to emotion. The best way to do that is to perpetuate victimhood. The best way to do that is to create a politically correct dogma, that divides us.

      You can not get to a truly equal opportunity (not equal outcome) society until the perception

    • You must have been born in this country to get brainwashed in thinking that you are somehow privileged because of the color of your skin. My parents and grandparents lived in the Soviet Union, and I have heard plenty of stories of hunger and anti-semitism. There was no privilege to being white.

  3. Every time we have had a major war or fall of a major civilization it was because of globalization. One group wants it the other doesn’t. I don’t think this fight stops at the election. When Trump wins the viciousness of the globalists will come out and the real war against home town America will begin. And it will be cities against suburb the BLM mantra will be abandoned as it didn’t work to win the election and a new we’re all being oppressed mantra will take hold. And that wave will include terrorist type attacks Against church’s and the old school mega business like Walmart and the large brick and mortar chains. If America is willing to go through this fight then after 2yrs of grueling crackdown America will have a strong and renewed turn to faith and Christianity and will survive until the next attempt to overthrow the regime. If not if America is unwilling to fight for its conservativem then we will slowly wallow in defeat it took the Roman Empire another 50yrs to retreat back to Italy after it had effectively fallen it will take less then 10 for our corporate laws to be wielded by communist governments to take hold and control of the American dollar by making all paper money illegal and anyone who starts to speak out have there accounts frozen. As other countries will fall one by one to the globalist. All our true American liberties will erode. Someone breaks into your house and you shoot them your now in prison for life. Remember when Lot entered Sodom the gang called for him to “let them rape” his daughters. The fight is already here the only question is are we willing.

    • I agree with you 100%. The deciding factor I believe will be whether or not “Sunday Christians” are willing to fight the evil one represented by globalization, technocrats, and big pharma. I quit listening to sports, radio and tv cause of politics, now love this group along with sports. I am a second generation Ukrainian farmer who has coached football, track and soccer in the Houston area for 35 years, plan on going at least 50 years UNLESS end times is upon us. Sorry for the seriousness but it’s real. And if you think Trumps pronouncements of having the military all over the country for vaccine delivery is just for expedited vaccine delivery, you are wrong. Trump thinks ahead. If he wins the election, all hell will break loose, HUGE RIOTS, and with the military in place “ for vaccine delivery “ some will die and they will stop. But all life will be very different. My grandfather escaped Russia in 1905 because of that life, and now it’s here. HANG ON, GET STRONG and pray. Coach Bear ✝️👍🐻🇺🇦

  4. Great point about international corporations not having the best interests of a nation at heart. These companies are self interested. They don’t care about people in Detroit, they care about pseudo-slave labor, access to cheap capital and tax breaks.

    The question I have is: today it’s BLM everyone is kneeling for, what fad will it be next? Is this the new thing? Will people keep kneeling forever for this or that personal statement?

  5. Good article. Big fan of Barkley. Even though I don’t always agree with his politics. I can actually like and respect someone I don’t always agree with. On a side note, I would love to see Outkick do a retrospective, investigative series on the racist attack on Lebron James’ multi million dollar mansion a few years back. Clay spent a lot of time on his radio show discussing it at the time. White supremacists or the KKK allegedly vandalized his gate with racist graffiti? Nobody ever saw any evidence of it. No police investigation. They apparently had leftover paint for the gate that was used to quickly cover it up. The same original paint. LBJ is being very vocal about his civil rights positions. Lots of, look at me, moments. Big time grandstander. The guy has obviously experienced unmitigated racial oppression in his life. I say you guys give him the attention he is seeking.

    • It would be nice to see a real investigation and real journalism into this story, because a fake hate crime is very dangerous to our culture as it perpetuates a false narrative that leads to the riots and killings we have been witnessing.

  6. Because Trump has a policy of “America First” does not mean he’s an isolationist.
    In many speeches given on foreign soil he has said he thinks that country where he was speaking (and even at the NATO Summit a year ago or so) should put their people first, just as he is doing.
    Anyone who’s been on the planet for 50 years or so knows full well how many countries – including allies – have taken advantage of us for decades through terrible trade deals, by Congress passing legislation that helped their multi-national corporate donors while giving away jobs, shuttering factories, trying to destroy the energy sector, and bringing workers from other countries to take tech jobs here. Theft of intellectual property by China was a dirty little Washington secret from at least the time of Clinton through Obama.
    Deciding to not get ripped off by other countries is not isolationist.
    Deciding not to get into meaningless conflicts halfway around the world is not isolationist.
    We currently have troops in 150 countries..
    Trump has taken stronger stances against Russia, China, Iran, North Korea than any president from Clinton through Obama.
    We currently have 50 mutual defense agreements with allies.
    The wars/conflicts we’re in now were the legacy of those previous presidents.
    Trump has created new trade agreements around the world; that’s not an isolationist position.
    Calling him an isolationist is all part and parcel of the radical leftist narrative.

    • Hey Jason,
      I have to apologize for any perceived rudeness on my part. I forgot to take my good manners pill with my first cup of java lol.
      Your writing is as always insightful and thought provoking. I guess when i say the “isolationist” tag (even if it was a throwaway, and assigned to BLM) I felt I had to point our some things that fly in the face of Trump being labeled an isolationist. Nobody has engaged the world more than this president.
      Thanks, Jason…sorry if you thought I was directing this at you. Cheers!
      Rick

    • Well said. I think it comes down to a strategy of appeasement vs. assertiveness. Since Reagan we have mostly been an appeasement focused Nation. Even the Bush family had the Saudi’s to appease. For the first time since Reagan we have a leader who thinks like a business owner, and that’s why he’s massively popular with small business owners and the people who work for them.

    • Excellent thoughts Rick, and now you hear the drum beat of “We can’t take troops out of Germany!” I say, until we get our financial situation in order (is the national debt 30 trillion yet?) at least half of our troops abroad should be brought home.

      I think you hit on the real hatred for Trump amongst the establishment. He threatens the global gravy train from America.

  7. The latest polls show that most Americans other than the leftists are afraid of speaking their true beliefs by an overwhelming majority. This includes all races. From what I read the WHITE man is the villain. Which I find odd since the majority of the so called BLM anarchists are young white spoiled liberals.

    • Good observation, I think that lends credence to the idea that these young white protesters (AntiFA, BLM) are being subsidized. That they are mostly just unwise kids who see this as fun and are getting paid to do it. I have no idea if that is the truth, but I believe it’s plausible.

  8. Jason — Do you think athletes who support BLM even know the BLM agenda? They seem to think it’s just about so called police brutality. Do athletes know BLM advocates against the “Western” idea of the nuclear family? Do the athletes have any idea that BLM is committed to Marxism — or even what Marxism is? Have you given any thought to how how athletes can be educated on the true mission of BLM?

    • All these comments are very interesting, but this one is the most interesting to me. I would like to hear what you have to say regarding, Do athletes know what BLM actually represents? I would also like to hear, If the players do understand what it represents… DEFEND IT

  9. It’s sad that we let this hateful and outrageous organization blm to brainwash our country and athletes into hating it for all the wonderful freedoms we fought and died for. Moreover, it is now more important than ever to have our kids honor and respect our men and women in the military, police, first responders and their own parents as role models to look up too. Good luck to you all.

  10. Jason, as always, thank you……….I feel like there is no longer a Democratic party. They’ve been completely corrupted. ……….The liberal elites have us so confused that we think kneeling before their establishment is more important than actual black lives. Do they care about black children who’ve been murdered in lawless cities? Of course not. Do they care about a man named Bernell Trammell being gunned down in broad daylight for supporting Trump? Of course not. Do they care about the black owned businesses destroyed in riots? Of course not……If we Americans do not stand up for our country, these liberal elitists (Bezos, Dorsey, etc..) will have rebuilt the country in their image. We’ll be a bunch of “suckers” waiting for our next “fix” of social media approval, snitching on each other, angry at each other, while global elitists keep getting richer. (Also, although I very much doubt Sir Charles is reading this, thank you to Charles Barkley for his courage)

  11. This is really good Jason . I am a huge NBA fan and I tried watching last night. It was painful. It was like watching CNN, I had to turn the channel to the Dodger game every five minutes bcause i could not stomach it. I purposely started watching late, after the game started to avoid all the kneeling and lecturing. I just wanted to watch some hoops. But ohhh No !!! The commentators made sure that there was a social justice massage there every dead ball, every free throw , every Labron James whine session. Speaking of whine session I think Labron whined to the refs on every single play while still scolding his teammates.To bad it was good game too. As for Charles he is kind of like you guys very transparent and honest and has a huge heart. Sometimes I wish he look at the facts before he opened his mouth but not in this case.

  12. I have a weird feeling that “cancel culture” will eventually eat the very people who championed it. Ellen Degeneres has issues with her reputation recently, and it might cause her to end her show. The irony of someone who said at the end of her show to “be kind” to everyone was utter crap. The companies who protect China from oversight will too feel the burn if economic stagnation and loss of wages get worse, while the NBA, its players, and Nike continue to reap financial windfalls from cooperating with a militant and repressive regime.

    A reckoning is coming.

  13. And here’s the hilarious irony in the whole BLM paradigm and the NBA flaunting its t-shirts and hanging their multi-millionaire heads…I mean the “real” BLM, the marxist-socialist, destroy the nuclear family, destroy our country BLM…
    If BLM had their way, the multi-millionaires in shorts would HAVE TO play for free to provide entertainment to the masses who would be permanently out of jobs — except for gov’t jobs…and how many staffers does a senator or congressperson need…100…150 maybe?
    These BOZOS would be permanently touring the country as a distraction from reality. Hey, either you’re right or you’re wrong, Bron Bron…no wiggle room…get back on the touring bus!!!

    • A prominent conservative writer wrote a great piece a while back about sitting in a Silicon Valley area pub, listening to a group of Bernie Bros. Apparently the Bernie Bros addressed what would happen to their wealth when Bernie won, and they unanimously agreed Bernie would not take their wealth away, only the wealth of the unsophisticated Americans who did not contribute great things to society the way Silicon Valley does.

      No Socialist thinks poverty will affect them personally. It’s why the anarchist protestors raging against capitalism are all wearing $500 apple watches and likely have $2000 mac books at home, both likely purchased by their “capitalist pig” parents.

  14. This is the first site I’ve ever spent money on, and it’s because of writers like Jason Whitlock. He and Clay have tapped into an audience yearning for simple honesty. Just say what you think, agree or disagree, but don’t grovel.
    Real Americans appreciate that.

  15. “It is the history of Marxist Socialism which shows most clearly that every socialist policy must turn into destructionism.” –Ludwig Von Mises

    That the BLM organization was founded by Marxist Socialists and seeks Marxist Socialist ends is self-admitted, although recently some of BLM’s more radical positions have been scrubbed from its website. (BLM espoused positions, such as like dismantling the nuclear family, may have inhibited fund raising from corporations and suburban Americans.) However, we can readily comprehend the most notable of BLM’s public policy positions by reading the information painted in yellow on the streets of our Nation’s capital: BLM = Defund the Police. Because BLM is a Marxist Socialist organization, we can infer that its principal public policy is therefore a socialist policy. Applying Mises’ dictum that every socialist policy must turn into destructionism, we can add destructionism to the BLM equation as follows:

    BLM = Defund the Police = Destructionism

    Is there any doubt that Defunding the Police will (and in fact already has) lead to increased death, violence and destruction in America’s cities? Is there any doubt that this increased death, violence and destruction will (and already has) disproportionately and adversely impact low income families and minority communities? Is political power perhaps the end goal of the Defund the Police policy rather than improving lives of minority communities?

    Marxist Socialism has destroyed every society where it has attained power. The list of victims is long and painful to contemplate: Russia, Cuba, Cambodia, Venezuela, Ghana, Angola, Ethiopia, and many other beautiful countries and peoples. The human suffering and death inflicted by Socialism is unmatched in world history, with over 200 Million Human Beings murdered by proponents of Marxist Socialist ideology.

    Are the NBA supporters of BLM aware that Karl Marx was an virulent racist? See, the following link for an article Marx’s racism by the great Walter Williams, professor of economics at George Mason, https://www.dailysignal.com/2017/05/10/ugly-racism-karl-marx/

    Like an infectious cancer, Socialism destroys everything it touches. By letting residents of Wuhan travel to the US and Europe (but not within China) the Chinese Communist Party unleased the Corona Virus on the world –and lied about it– killing over 670,000 Human Beings, including over 150,000 Americans and destroying the economies of many nations. Socialism = Destructionism.

    Marxist Socialism and the Corona Virus are now both infecting the wonderful world of sports. Unless checked, Marxist Socialism will destroy our sports, our society and our families (remember, BLM said that seek to destroy the nuclear family). Sports have been a force for good for so many people, it is critical that sports not be destroyed. This is an SOS call to the Outkick Community to Save our Sports. Thankfully, Outkick is the antidote to both diseases. Together, Clay, Jason and the Outkick Community will Outkick the Virus and Save our Sports!

  16. Jason, thanks for exposing business as a major player in the U.S.’ cultural crisis. Publicly traded companies make decisions to maximize profits and/or maximize the stock price. That’s pretty much it.
    Unfortunately, big businesses have been successful in lobbying governments to make policies that allow them to eschew American money and jobs and maximize profits. But, they are like heroine addicts now- chasing that next hit (foreign market). They will steal from their Grandma’s coin purse to get it. Letting America burn for a while to secure profit is okay in their book.

  17. I have to admit that reading about the ‘why’ of standing or not standing for the anthem makes me cringe. There are something’s that are always wrong. Charles Barkley was barely brave. He sacrifices nothing, while young Americans heed his cues and passive aggressive ways.

    If Trump wins, America wins. If Biden wins, we will have two America’s for a very long time; poverty versus prosperity. Tell your friends.

    • A good point regarding your first thought, but I’m still glad Charles said something, if for no other reason then to give another example of how petty and immature a good portion of the kneeler supporters can be in their attacks on Charles after his comments.

      I know we are fighting folks that are mostly lead by emotion, but perhaps a few of them will question why they are siding with such haters, thus leading to more covert Trump supporters.

  18. The flag is a symbol. The intent of the national anthem is to provide Americans the chance to pause and reflect and acknowledge what that symbol collectively conveys — the ideals that allow us to live in the freest society ever created in the annals of man. The anthem is a pure moment of patriotism. All countries have anthems and flags and the meaning is the same everywhere.

    Charles is incorrect. We all know what the anthem “means.” The meaning of the moment is not disputable. Kneeling is an act of disrespect. To the FLAG and the COUNTRY and the PEOPLE who sacrificed so much, and which allows the freedom for much of the (nonsensical) discourse that occurs today.

  19. When my children were young and were confused about some obvious decisions going the wrong direction, I explained to them that most decisions are made based on money. I never thought the decision to overrule the constitution and give up our freedoms would be one of those decisions. Tieing the BLM movement directly to the corporate $$$ is a great way to win the argument and expose greedy self righteous phonies like Steve Kerr and Uncle Pop for what they are – corporate whores. Great point. Well written.

    • Why should someone be required to vote?

      The freedom to not vote is a great freedom we have in this country. It shouldn’t even be that important to vote as your elected officials should not be kings. And by vote do you mean vote in all elections, even locally? Or are you referring specifically only to presidential elections? Which at that point, makes voting kind of lazy if that’s all we mean by voting. Finally, if someone decides not to vote because they don’t like their options, that in it of itself is their vote – otherwise it would be insincere to vote for someone who you don’t care for.

  20. Fantastic Article Jason. Growing up my older brother’s favorite player was Barkley which has made me partial to him. So sad that this incredibly simple statement made by him is now something courageous but I applaud him for it.

    • As Super Anthony points out, “the freedom to not vote is a great freedom we have in this country”, and I agree. I stand for nothing, if not freedom and liberty. My take though, is voting is important. Everyone has heard the argument, you don’t have the right to complain if you don’t vote, but to me, it’s something else. I believe, for my entire lifetime (born 1968) too many good people have stood by while the seeds of what is being sowed today prospers. We can’t all be like Jason and Clay, with their mighty pens, fighting the good fight everyday, blessed with an audience, but we can at least, try to vote in all elections, trying to put better people into power.

      So, in the spirit of the freedom and liberty our country stands for, I would never look down my nose at someone who doesn’t vote, but I will argue how important I feel it is. Having a civil discussion about it, admitting when an opponent has a good point or has changed your mind, especially in these times, is probably even more important, as to remind Americans that’s how the ball is moved forward. Not letting things degrade to a Jerry Springer show level, is another reason I so appreciate this site and it’s members.

  21. Chuck, who I don’t always agree with demonstrates that when you think for yourself then you are not a one dimensional mouthpiece for your tribe. Which makes him interesting and refreshing no matter whether or not I agree with him.

    The interesting points about corporate America to me is: Even if you supported the message, do you really want your message to be hijacked to sell product? Like think about the really underlying message here “End racism. Buy Nike”

  22. To paraphrase, MLK, the moral arc of the universe is bent towards justice. Getting rich from Slave Labor of a different race of people was immoral when plantation owners in America did it centuries ago. Getting rich from Slave Labor of a different race is immoral when Nike, LeBron James, Colin Kaepernick and Michael Jordan do it this century. At least the plantation owners centuries ago weren’t phony social just warriors.

  23. Jason,

    Once you get settled into life in the Music City, please get registered to vote. Unless you get registered, you won’t be able to vote for Clay when he runs for President.

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