Charles Barkley and Stephen A. Smith in War of Words Over “White Privilege”

Barkley said it wasn't honest or fair to say Nash only got hired because he's white

Charles Barkley speaking at a podium
Charles Barkley speaks at the podium prior to his sculpture being unveiled at the Philadelphia 76ers training facility on September 13, 2019 in Camden, New Jersey.
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The news that Steve Nash would be the next Brooklyn Nets head coach sent shockwaves across the NBA, and not all of them were of pleased surprise. After it was announced that Nash would take over for interim coach Jacque Vaughn, a handful of notable critics, including Stephen A. Smith, claimed that it was white privilge that Nash got hired with zero experience. NBA on TNT analyst Charles Barkley is having none of that, however, as he blasted that line of thinking on Friday.

Barkley said he was “really disappointed” by “some of the guys on television” talking about white privilege. While he didn’t call out Stephen A. Smith explictly, the implication was pretty clear.

Barkley pointed to the hiring of Doc Rivers, Jason Kidd, and Derek Fisher as Black coaches who also got hired with no experience; NBA on TNT host Ernie Johnson also added in Isiah Thomas. Barkley then went on to criticize going on television to talk about race and privilege without being fully aware of what you are saying:

When you have a responsibility, especially when you have to talk about something as serious as race, you can’t be full of crap. You’ve got to be honest and fair.

Charles Barkley

Barkley did go on to say that sports in general need more Black coaches:

Now, do we need more Black coaches in the NBA? Yes. Do we need more Black coaches in college football? Yes. Do we need more Black coaches in pro football. Yes.

Charles Barkley

His point, however, is that just because Nash didn’t have coaching experience before being hired by the Nets doesn’t mean that it was a case of “white privilege” at play. For his part, Smith replied on Friday to the criticism of his original message, saying that “I don’t give a damn what y’all feel.”

Subscribe here for our free daily newsletter.

Read the full story at The New York Post

Win the Ultimate Formula 1® Miami Grand Prix Experience

Want the F1 experience of a lifetime? Here’s your chance to win tickets to see Turn 18 Grandstand, one of Ultimate Formula 1® Miami Grand Prix’s most premier grandstands!