Charles Barkley is not known for biting his tongue, so when it comes to his feelings towards people who don’t want to get vaccinated, the Chuckster didn’t sugarcoat them.
Speaking with CNBC, the Hall of Famer wasn’t shy about revealing his vaccination status, sharing that he did indeed get the COVID-19 vaccine and kept it all the way real about the people who still have not gotten the shot.
“Everybody should be vaccinated. Period,” he said, before letting the chopper spray adding, “The only people who are not vaccinated are just assholes.”
The brutally honest Inside The NBA host also believes that all sports leagues should mandate that athletes have to be vaccinated to play.
“Can you imagine if one of these guys that are not vaccinated, if they get one of these players’ kids, wives, girlfriends, moms and dads sick and they die over some unnecessary conspiracy bullshit,” Barkley said. “I think that would be tragic.” Barkley also believes professional athletes should not get any special treatment regarding this situation and feels athletes should be subjected to the same rules average joes have to follow at their jobs.
“There’s sh*t you can’t do at work, and there’s sh*t that have to do at work,” he further elaborated. “So every workplace has rules, and I think one of the rules [should be] that guys have to be vaccinated.”
Barkley’s comments come as the country is dealing with an alarming rise in COVID-19 cases due to the highly contagious delta variant. The sports world, specifically the NFL, has been the talk of social media because of the league’s new policy regarding COVID-19, just stopping short of mandating players be vaccinated but announcing stiff penalties for unvaccinated players who cause outbreaks leading to cancellations of games.
Players like Cole Beasley and DeAndre Hopkins have voiced their displeasure with the rules but have seen pushback from other NFL players for being vaccinated. Two coaches also found out the NFL is not playing when it comes to COVID-19. ESPN reported that Minnesota Viking coach Rick Dennison was handed his pink slip becuase he didn’t want to get vaccinated but eventually reached an agreement to remain with the team as a senior offensive adviser. The same can’t be said for New England Patriots co-OL coach Cole Popovich.
But there are signs that some players get it. Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield said players would benefit from being vaccinated.
“It’s a competitive advantage, but it’s also way more than that,” Mayfield told reporters from his youth football camp Wednesday. “It’s about safety and just general health and well-being of human life.”
Barkley appears to be on the right side of history when it comes to this, as businesses feel the same way without saying it so harshly. Companies like Netflix, Facebook, Google, and Shake Shack have all announced that employees will have to be vaccinated to go to work.
Photo: Cliff Hawkins / Getty