Charles Barkley blames the wrong people for hijacking Colin Kapernick's original message.
1. Charles Barkley, who likes to play the game that he doesn't seek attention while always seeking attention, weighed in on the NFL's national anthem protests on Tuesday. Barkley's big message? The media has made everything worse. Here's what he said on a conference call:
“I’m sick of these media guys who have hijacked the whole Colin Kaepernick situation and made it about who’s protesting, who’s standing for the Anthem. I mean you guys have really done a terrible job on this entire story and really ruined it and made it a more divisive issue. We’ve lost what Kaepernick initially kneeled for. It’s not about the flag. Everybody loves the American flag. Nobody’s trying to disrespect soldiers. You guys in the media have made it about that. I hope these players smarten up and realize you guys love writing about this junk. It gives you something to talk about on the radio 24/7. But let’s quit talking about who’s kneeling and not kneeling and let’s come up with some solutions. To me, all this started happening when the boys started locking arms this year. They paid Colin no attention last year. They just got him out the league…There were only a couple of guys kneeling, that’s my point. Until the president called those guys SOBs, that’s when everything exploded.”
Besides the pathological liars at state run Fox News, it would be nice if Barkley would've named some media members who have done a terrible job covering the story. Every outlet from SI to ESPN to CBS Sports to Yahoo Sports and on and on and on has covered everything from Kaepernick's reasons for kneeling to Kaepernick's donation of a million dollars to various charities to 49ers safety Eric Reid saying he will still kneel during the anthem to raise awareness to Eagles defensive end Chris Long donating his salary to increase educational equality.
I'd be the first one to blame the media for something, but this is not something that can be put on the media. This is about the fact that people only see their side of an issue and refuse to be open about changing their minds. It's been said over and over and over -- and covered in the media, Sir Charles -- that NFL players took a knee to bring awareness to inequality and social injustices. But people who want to feel good about their own patriotism will not listen to that reasoning. The media did not call for boycotts of NFL games. The media did not blackball Colin Kaepernick. The media aren't the ones making and wearing ridiculous T-shirts to act like they are more patriotic than anyone else
The media is not to blame here. Owners like Jerry Jones made the anthem protests about patriotism. A reality-show-host-turned-President trying to cater to his base made it about patriotism. And people who don't even bother to get a clue about the facts, but get a paycheck to rile up half the country with mistruths made it about patriotism.
The best part is that Barkley blames the media for making the issue "more divisive." Yeah, his take isn't divisive at all.
2. LeBron James did not kneel for the national anthem last night, but he still managed to send a message.
3. On a much lighter note, this week's episode of "Off The Board," features separate interviews with Erin Andrews and Jimmy Kimmel. Andrews talks about everything from getting botox to why she refuses to talk about politics to what it was like to have Larry David at her wedding. Kimmel weighs in on why football in L.A. is a disaster, explains why he wouldn't have O.J. Simpson on his show and amuses me with some Howard Stern talk. You can listen to the podcast below or download it on iTunes, SoundCloud and Stitcher.
4. Via Deadspin comes this outstanding video compilation of Joe Buck plugging various promos for failed FOX shows over the years during baseball coverage.
5. If you missed it late last night, a Klay Thompson doppleganger showed up to the Warriors season opener.
6. Giancarlo Stanton seems to be having an interesting offseason.
7. Larry David appeared on The Rich Eisen Show yesterday and it was basically like a great Curb episode.
8. RANDOM WRESTLING VIDEO OF THE DAY: Remember when The Rock threw Stone Cold off a bridge? Good times.
The best of the Internet, plus musings by SI.com writer, Jimmy Traina. Get the link to a new Traina's Thoughts each day by following on Twitter and liking on Facebook. Catch up on previous editions of Traina Thoughts. And check Jimmy Traina's weekly podcast, "Off The Board," on iTunes, SoundCloud and Stitcher.
RANDOM THOUGHT: Haven't watched the Gordon Hayward injury and have no desire to do so. Is that weird?