NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley is renowned for speaking his mind courtside and has weighed in on the 2016 presidential election.
On March 8, the former 76ers and Suns player was offering his powers of analysis during the NCAA tournament media day when he launched into his view of the presidential race, CBS New York reports.
The commentator remarked that “all politics is rich people screwing poor people.”
Barkley has previously voiced controversial opinions on wealth inequality and race. In October 2014, the former NBA star told a radio that “we as black people are never going to be successful, not because of you white people, but because of other black people,” according to The Atlantic.
The analyst, who has stated that he does not want to be a role model, stated that “it’s best to knock a successful black person down because they’re intelligent, they speak well, they do well in school, and they’re successful.”
Fast Forward to Barkley discussing the state of American politics 2016, he added that “poor people are too stupid to know they’re just chess pieces in a game.”
The analyst proceeded to elaborate on poverty:
All the poor white people, all the poor black people, all the Hispanics, they’re in the same boat. They’ve got no economic opportunities. They spend all their time blaming each other because rich people throw words at them like illegal immigration and racism and things like that. If poor people ever get smart, and realize we should band together, rise up, instead of fighting each other, we probably can make a difference.
The NBA analyst blamed the Republican Party for encouraging this trend, commenting that the GOP “always do a good job of dividing a conquering.”
Barkley on the GOP:
All they talk about is immigration, the notion that illegal immigrants are ruining our country taking jobs. We’re shipping all our jobs out of the country. That’s, to me, worse than a few Hispanics who come here to work their behinds off. If you’re a poor white person and your life sucks, it’s easy for you to blame Hispanics because you don’t want to look in the mirror and say, ‘I’m the reason my life sucks.’ The Republicans do a good job of exploiting that.
The Hall of Famer concluded that whoever is elected president will not impact him because “I’ll be rich either way.”
In a February 2015 interview with Sports Illustrated, Barkley stated that he had always voted for Democratic candidates but he may be willing to change teams.
“I have always voted Democratic,” Barkley said. “But I like some of the Republicans this time around. I like Chris Christie. I like Jeb Bush. I like those guys.”
One year later and neither of those candidates have remained in the presidential race.