Charles Barkley, Shaquille O'Neal draw backlash for pushing back on Breonna Taylor outrage

Jack Baer
·Writer
·4 mins read
CAMDEN, NJ - SEPTEMBER 13: Charles Barkley looks on prior to his sculpture being unveiled at the Philadelphia 76ers training facility on September 13, 2019 in Camden, New Jersey. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Charles Barkley has never been shy about expressing his opinions. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Many prominent figures in the sports world, including Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, have voiced their outrage against the decision to not charge Louisville police officers for the killing of Breonna Taylor.

The “Inside the NBA” crew on TNT offered a different reaction on Thursday, led by Charles Barkley.

Charles Barkley on Breonna Taylor: Not the same as George Floyd or Ahmaud Arbery

Before Thursday’s game between the Lakers and Denver Nuggets, Barkley said that Taylor’s case shouldn’t be “lumped” in with the killings of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery. He pointed to Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, firing on the plainclothes Louisville police officers that were executing a no-knock search warrant as a reason why.

From The Hollywood Reporter:

"I don't think this one was like George Floyd or Ahmaud Arbery and things like that," Barkley began. "I feel sad that this young lady lost her life. I think this one was — the no-knock warrant is something we need to get rid of ... across the board. But I am worried to lump all these situations in together."

He continued, "And I just feel bad that the young lady lost her life. But we do have to take into account that her boyfriend shot at the cops and shot a cop. So like I say, even though I am really sorry she lost her life, I just don't think we can put this in the same situation as George Floyd or Ahmaud Arbery."

Barkley found some agreement from his co-hosts, including Shaquille O’Neal:

"I have to agree with Charles, this one is sort of lumped in," O'Neal said. "You have to get a warrant signed and some states do allow no-knock warrants. And everyone was asking for murder charges. When you talk about murder, you have to show intent. A homicide occurred and we're sorry a homicide occurred. When you have a warrant signed by the judge, you are doing your job, and I would imagine that you would fire back."

It’s worth noting that O’Neal has long expressed an affinity for the police, once even being deputized in a county in Georgia.

Barkley also dismissed the “Defund the Police” movement that has emerged in the wake of the killings of Floyd and Taylor.

Predictably, such comments were met with a vocal reaction on Twitter.

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