Charles Barkley has never held back when expressing his political views during TNT’s NBA and NCAA basketball broadcasts, and he fired off another stinging attack on American politics during CBS’ Final Four broadcast, accusing both Republicans and Democrats of trying to “divide and conquer.”
Barkley’s comments came after a segment during CBS’ pregame show that discussed the intersection between basketball and racial conflict in America, pointing out that Indianapolis, the city hosting this year’s Final Four, was where Sen. Robert Kennedy announced to a shocked world that Martin Luther King Jr. had been assassinated.
“I think most white people and Black people are great people. I really believe that in my heart,” Barkley said. “But I think our system is set up where our politicians, whether they are Republicans or Democrats, are designed to make us not like each other so they can keep their grasp of money and power. They divide and conquer.”
Charles Barkley speaking the truth pic.twitter.com/lt9jBldV2a
— ET (@runBMC57) April 3, 2021
“And their only job is, ‘Hey, let’s make these people not like each other. We don’t live in their neighborhoods. We all got money,'” he continued. “‘Let’s make the whites and Blacks not like each other. Let’s make rich people and poor people not like each other. Let’s scramble the middle class.’ I truly believe that in my heart.”
Barkley has spoken his mind several times over the past year amidst the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement. In July, he criticized the NBA’s social justice campaign for being too focused on optics, arguing that allowing players to wear words like “Equality” and “Justice” on their jerseys “defeats the purpose” of the movement and risks turning the larger push for police and prison reform “into a circus instead of trying to do some good stuff.” He also spoke out against calls for police defunding and abolition pushed by BLM organizers, saying in September that doing so would worsen inequality.
“Who are Black people supposed to call? Ghostbusters? When we have crime in our neighborhoods? We need police reform. White people, especially rich white people, they’re always going to have cops,” he said.
Watch Barkley’s latest remarks in the clip above.