During Thursday night’s broadcast of TNT’s “Inside the NBA,” Charles Barkley took a jab at ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins for his recent race-baiting comments about NBA MVP voting. Perkins had claimed 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.
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.
“Giannis is my MVP,” Shaq said.
Chuck hilariously interrupted and said, “You’re only voting for him because he’s black.”
Perkins’ comments have drawn widespread backlash, including from ESPN itself, which issued an apology and pointed out that the percentage of white MVP voters is actually lower than the 80% claimed by Perkins. Barkley’s humorous retort also serves to highlight the importance of accuracy and fairness in sports commentary
Charles Barkley "comes off the top rope" to throw shade at Kendrick Perkins pic.twitter.com/WeHpad9G1G
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) March 10, 2023
— 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