Charles Barkley just weighed in on the insinuation made by ESPN sports analyst Kendrick Perkins that race plays a role in NBA MVP voting. Sir Charles, who himself received the award thirty years ago, called in to Altitude Sports Radio 92.5 and said Perkins’ take was “one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard.”
“You can’t tell me, because the numbers don’t make sense… Does he know how many voters are White actually or did he pull 80% out of his a–?” Barkley asked. “My point is if only five white guys have won MVP in the last 30 years, that makes zero sense — his argument. Zero sense. Because if that was the case, we’d have a lot more white MVPs… Wouldn’t the numbers be way, way worse?”
Never one to bite his tongue, Barkley also accused Perkins of possibly suffering from a particular ailment that affects judgement: the ESPN disease. The NBA on TNT host first mentioned the term in 2014. And those afflicted by the “disease” are usually the most underinformed who promote controversial narratives for no reason, alleges Barkley.
“A lot of these guys, when they get on TV and stuff, they’re like, ‘Well, I’m on ESPN, I got to say something provocative,’” the retired NBA great explained. “And you know the thing about it, you’re always gonna get some fools out there, you guys probably get some fools calling in agreeing with him.”
But Barkley also applauded JJ Redick for openly confronting Perkins on the ESPN show First Take for injecting race into the MVP voting conversation as well.
“And this is what bothers me also,” he continued on Altitude Sports Radio 92.5. “Man, race is such a touchy subject because very few people have a pure heart. We can talk about race as much as you want to as long as you’re going to be fair and honest. But to slander [two-time NBA MVP Nikola Jokic] in this situation is just total BS.”
See how Twitter’s reacting to Barkley’s recent weigh-in on the race debate between Perkins and Reddick below.
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