Retired basketball player, Charles opens up about taking a stand against discrimination during the 2017 NBA All-Star game.
Basketball legend Charles Barkley has been an advocate for several marginalized causes, including the LGBTQ.
The former NBA star described how he once took a stand against discrimination, before admonishing fellow 'blacks' to always take a stand saying:
"Black people know what discrimination is like. If you're in a position of power, you got to stand up against discrimination."
Charles Barkley at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course in Nevada in July 11, 2019 | Photo: Getty Images
Recounting one of his active stands, the star recalled how opting to sit out the 2017 All-Star game to protest the LGBTQ discriminative bathroom bill in Charlotte led the Nba to move the game to New Orleans instead.
The "Ellen DeGeneres Show" hostess agreed with the star, also attempting to relate with his feelings. She said:
"That's how I feel about any discrimination at all, any inequality. It's like, for you to think that you somehow, they'll never come after you for something. It's just wrong."
The legend explained his stance during an appearance on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show." He referenced the 2017 All-Star Game, initially fixed to hold in Charlotte, HB2, but was later rescheduled for New Orleans due to the city's controversial bathroom bill.
He also commended the National Basketball Association for the gesture. In the course of his NBA career, the star athlete played with Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Sun, and Houston Rockets.
Ironically, the 76ers played a role in the rise and fall of the athlete's basketball career.
His professional resume also boasts of two gold medals won as a member of the United States Dream Team during the 1992 and 1996 Olympic games. The 56-year-old also made the 1996 list of the top 50 greatest basketball players of all time.
The veteran champion never shies from expressing his views, which always left him at the forefront of controversies as well as activisms during his decades-long NBA career.
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. | Photo: Getty Images
While speaking about his zeal for voicing out on controversial topics, the basketball legend said:
"I don't create controversies. They are always there long before I open my mouth. I just bring them to your attention."
The legend retired from the games in 2000, but his days of influencing the court were far from over. He became an NBA analyst for TNT alongside his best friend, Shaquille O' Neal, Ernie Johnson, and Kenny Smith.
Shaquille O'Neal, Ernie Johnson Jr., Kenny Smith, and Charles Barkley speak onstage at the 2018 NBA Awards at Barkar Hangar on June 25, 2018 in Santa Monica, California | Photo: Getty Images
Notwithstanding, his days of controversies precedes him. It can be recalled that the former Houston Rockets made an early retirement following an injury to his left knee in 1999.
Although he struggled with the ruptured quadriceps tendon for weeks, Charles held on until the final game of the seasons, where he made his last appearance on the courts.
Charles Barkley poses for a picture with his sculpture at the Philadelphia 76ers training facility on September 13, 2019 in Camden, New Jersey | Photo: Getty Images
The injury occurred during a game with his former team, the Philadelphia 76ers, a group that kick-started his NBA rise to stardom. Ironically, the 76ers played a role in the rise and fall of the athlete's basketball career.
Years after his retirement, the basketball icon's quest to stand up for the truth in the face of chaos still dwells within him.