Charles Barkley Slams The NBA's Handling Of Kyrie Irving's Offensive Post

Basketball legend Charles Barkley has called out the NBA for how they handled Kyrie Irving following his offensive social media post. In October, the Brooklyn Nets player landed in hot water after he shared a link to an anti-Semitic film via Twitter, per The New York Times. In the days following his offensive post, Irving refused to apologize for his action. He even doubled down on the tweet during a post-game press junket. "I cannot be anti-Semitic if I know where I come from," he said during a press conference (via Twitter).

Because of his aforementioned response, the NBA suspended Irving for five games without pay, per PBS NewsHour. "We were dismayed today when given an opportunity in a media session, that Kyrie refused to unequivocally say he has no antisemitic beliefs or acknowledge specific hateful material in the film," the Nets said in a statement. "Accordingly, we are of the view that he is currently unfit to be associated with the Brooklyn Nets."

After his suspension was announced, Irving released a lengthy apology to the Jewish community, stating in part: "To all Jewish families and communities that are hurt and affected from my post, I am deeply sorry to have caused you pain, and I apologize" (via The New York Times). While fans and industry have praised the NBA for suspending the controversial player, others like Charles Barkley have slammed the organization for not acting sooner.

Charles Barkley criticizes the NBA for not suspending Kyrie Irving sooner

Over the last month, Brooklyn Nets player Kyrie Irving has faced backlash after he uploaded a link to an offensive anti-Semitic film on Twitter. Due to his lack of accountability and apology, the controversial player was suspended for five games. While many welcomed the suspension, basketball star Charles Barkley slammed the NBA for their slow response. "He [Irving] should have got suspended. He apologized. I criticize the NBA because they should have suspended him sooner," he said on a recent episode of "The Chris Cuomo Project" podcast. "They gave him a week and a half to apologize, and he didn't apologize ... then they had to suspend him because of pressure."

Barkley went on to say that NBA "shouldn't have waited" for pressure to take action before stating that Irving is in the "money-making business." He added, "If you're going to insult a segment of a population ... like woah ... I thought the suspension was warranted." Barkley's comments come a couple of days after Nike terminated their partnership with Irving. "Kyrie is no longer a Nike athlete," a Nike spokesperson told ABC News on December 5. Before to cutting ties, the company initially revealed that their partnership was suspended, per The Wall Street Journal. Shortly after Nike's announcement, Irving's agent, Shetellia Riley Irving, said the decision was mutual in an additional statement. "We have mutually decided to part ways and wish Nike the best in their future endeavors," she told CNBC.