The former NBA player called out Democrats for their approach to the African-American community in America, arguing it is often overlooked outside an election year.
“I think all politicians take black folks for granted. They talk to black folks every four years and that’s about it ... and then do nothing about it,” Barkley told Yahoo News. “Both parties suck in that aspect.”
The basketball star noted that he did not see any of the 10 candidates at the first night of debates say anything that made him think things will change in the current election cycle.
“It’s an economic thing ... and that’s what both parties have been neglecting, especially the Democratic party,” Barkley continued. “Every black person I know has always voted Democratic and, with the exception of a few guys who can play sports, all those people are still poor.”
The TNT commentator also noted that it was hard to get a feel for a potential challenger to Trump in 2020 at this stage in the process, partially blaming his network’s sister company, CNN, for contributing to the noise.
“You can’t really judge anybody by seeing them on television, especially when you’ve got twenty people. Nobody gets a word in edgewise. That’s really unfortunate,” he explained.
Referring to CNN, he added: “We can do a much better job.”
Barkley, 56, who was in the debate's “spin room” as a guest, also had some sharp words for Trump after he told four freshmen congresswomen of color to “go back” to their “broken and crime-infested” countries, fix them and return. He then caught backlash for dismissing the city of Baltimore as a “rodent infested mess.”
“I’m leery of calling people ‘racist.’ He says some things that can be construed as racist,” Barkley said of Trump’s recent controversies. “Some things he’s said are very wrong and flagrant.”