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March 10, 2023
'Asinine, silly, and stupid': Charles Barkley shuts down allegations of racism in NBA MVP pick
Apparently, the NBA MVP decision this year is racist. Because it might go to a white person. *gasp*
Kendrick Perkins, a sports analyst for ESPN, made the claim earlier this month about Nikola Jokic, who plays for the Denver Nuggets. Jokic is making a case for a third-straight MVP award. Perkins pointed out three white players - Dirk Nowitzki, Steve Nash and Jokic - who have won the award since 1990 without finishing in the top 10 in scoring.
He said, "What do those guys have in common? I’ll let it sit there and marinate. You think about it.” He also claimed that 80% of NBA voters for the MVP are white.
JJ Reddick bashed him on ESPN in a heated exchange over these claims: "What we just witnessed is the problem with this show, where we create narratives that do not exist in reality. The implication, what you are implying, that the white voters that vote on NBA are racist, that they favor white people, you just said that. Yes you did. That is exactly what you implied Kendrick Perkins… We all know what you implied the other day. We all know what you implied just now."
And ESPN eventually had to issue a correction of one of Perkins's statements: "I want to correct something here from yesterday’s show, when Kendrick Perkins said that 80% of NBA voters for the MVP award are white. The NBA publicly announces the voters each year, and after review, it is clear that the panel is much more diverse than what was portrayed by Kendrick Perkins, and we wanted to make sure that we corrected that today.”
Charles Barkley has now joined the conversation and said what literally everyone is thinking: "That's asinine and silly. Asinine, silly, and stupid."
He continued to explain why this is the case: "It's a regular season award. It ain't who the best player is. It's who had the best regular season. But every year, ESPN gets these fools on radio and TV to talk about who's the best player [...] Michael Jordan probably was the best player in the NBA for, probably five years, before he won MVP because his team was no good."
Barkley then pointed out that you can probably count the number of white guys who won MVP in the last thirty years on one hand, so Perkins's racial bias argument doesn't make any sense. And Barkley said Perkins probably just made the asinine claim to be provocative.
Stuff like this is so silly and just creates more unnecessary division. Good for Barkley for calling it like it is.