The ongoing saga of Charles Barkley throwing out half-baked commentary about the Golden State Warriors got another chapter Saturday, when the Hall of Fame forward-turned-analyst weighed in on Donald Trump rescinding his seemingly unwanted invitation for the Warriors to visit the White House.
“I think it’s really unfortunate,” Barkley said during a phone interview with NBA TV. “I think that it’s an honor and privilege to go to the White House, no matter who the president is. And also, I thought it would have been an opportunity for those guys to sit down and talk to the president about some of the issues and concerns they had.”
The likes of Steve Harvey, Kanye West, Ray Lewis and the heads of America’s historically black colleges and universities have previously met with Trump, with the get-togethers producing some photo opportunities and no discernable policy changes. It’s unclear where Barkley thought the Warriors would succeed where the aforementioned visitors to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue failed.
“We’re all concerned about police brutality,” Barkley added. “I’m concerned about DACA. They could have negotiated a sit-down instead of just coming in, do that informal stuff where he stands there and you get your jersey and everything. It’s unfortunate. It’s just really sad, to be honest with you. When guys start not going to the White House because they don’t like who the president is, I think that sets a bad precedent.”
For the record, both Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant have outlined fairly specific reasons for shrugging off a visit with Trump.
“I don’t agree with what he agrees with, so my voice is going to be heard by not doing that,” Durant told ESPN’s Chris Haynes in July.
“By acting and not going, hopefully that will inspire some change when it comes to what we tolerate in this country and what is accepted and what we turn a blind eye to,” Curry told assembled media members Friday, prior to Trumps tweets. “It’s not just the act of not going there. There are things you have to do on the back end to actually push that message into motion.”
Rather than just skipping the visit “because they don’t like who the president is,” as Barkley said, Durant and Curry’s statements both seem to indicate specific, policy-related reasons for declining to meet with Trump and using the fact that they’re consciously skipping the White House visit as a form of peaceful, organized protest.