NBA Hall of Famer and TNT sports analyst Charles Barkley blasted his "bosses" at TNT, which includes CNN president Jeff Zucker, over cancel culture, telling 106.7 The Fan's "Grant and Danny" show that "you can't even have fun nowadays" when covering sports.
Barkley railed against "politically correct people" during the Monday radio appearance, blaming them for taking the fun out of his show, "Inside the NBA," and vowed to leave TNT in a few years when he turns 60.
"You can't even have fun nowadays without these jackasses trying to get you canceled and things like that," Barkley said. "Just having fun, talking about sports. I'm trying to hang on for another couple years until I'm 60, and then they can kiss my ass. I'm only working until 60. I've already told them that."
"We can't even have fun anymore. We've had fun all these years, and now all of a sudden in the last year and a half, everybody's trying to get everybody fired, and it really sucks," he added.
Barkley said that he and his colleagues' humor usually comes at a point in TNT's basketball coverage that they're trying to make a "crap game" more watchable.
"Nobody’s watching this game. Our relatives (are) not even watching this show after this," he said. "And then, so about 1 o’clock, you’re like, ‘Man, I’m going to say something just to have some fun.’ But like I said, now you really have to think about all the fun stuff you used to say."
Barkley said that disagreeing with someone nowadays is something that can get you fired, something that runs in contrast to what he described as one of his favorite phrases: "Agree to disagree."
"They're coming for your head, and a lot of our bosses are cowards," he said. "I said, 'Context matters.' They're like, 'Context doesn't matter.' I said, 'That's total BS. Context always has to matter.' But now, if you crack a joke the wrong way, they're like, 'Oh, no, no, no, no. You crossed a line.'"
Barkley didn't clarify which "bosses" he was referring to. However, in addition to serving as president of liberal network CNN, Jeff Zucker also serves as Chairman of Warner Media News and Sports, which oversees Turner Sports and includes TNT's NBA coverage.