NBA hall of famers Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley spoke bluntly about the death of Breonna Taylor on their TNT show “Inside the NBA,” this Thursday. The conversation came after a Louisville grand jury ruled not to charge the police officers involved in the shooting with manslaughter or murder. Barkley said although the death of Breonna was tragic, it did not belong in the same category as the deaths of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery. 

“It’s bad the young lady lost her life, but, you know, we do have to take into account that her boyfriend did shoot at the cops and shot a cop,” Barkley stated. “So, like I said, even though I’m really sorry she lost her life, I don’t think that we can just say we can put this in the same situation with George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, I just don’t believe that.” 

Shaq, who was named an honorary US Deputy Marshall in 2005 and is also an honorary deputy for the Broward County Sheriff’s Department, agreed with Barkley, saying, 

“I have to agree with Charles, this one is sort of lumped in. You have to get a warrant signed and some states do allow no-knock warrants. And everyone was asking for murder charges. When you talk about murder, you have to show intent. A homicide occurred and we’re sorry a homicide occurred. When you have a warrant signed by the judge, you are doing your job, and I would imagine that you would fire back.”

Barkley then moved on to criticize the “defund the police,” movement. 

“I’m like, ‘Wait a minute.’ Who are Black people supposed to call? Ghostbusters, when we have crime in our neighborhoods? We need police reform,” he said.

These comments have landed the pair in hot water. Many Twitter users took to the platform to call out the former NBA stars. “Charles Barkley is a f****** clown,” one user tweeted. “I didn’t know I could be this disgusted by Charles Barkley,” added Adam Parkhomenko, the National Field Director for the Democratic National Committee in 2016.

Others have been quick to support the comments, including conservative personality Sean Hannity. 

The NBA has been ripe with social justice messages this season, which is why I don’t watch them anymore.  I’d love to watch a game without all the left wing politics, wouldn’t you?

It’s nice to have people like Shaq and Barkley who unashamedly speak their minds, even when they know they’ll come under fire.

Hat Tip: Daily Wire, Complex

Image Credit: Wikimedia

About The Author

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.

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