1. When you are an untouchable persona in the media world, you can say whatever you want. That also means there are going to be times when you say something that is just nonsensical.
Charles Barkley is an untouchable media persona and Thursday night he took things to another level by saying something so ridiculous it’s hard to believe he was serious (he was).
According to Barkley, pro athletes (he cited NBA, NFL and NHL players) should get priority when it comes to receiving the COVID-19 vaccines because they pay a lot of taxes.
“We need 300 million shots,” he said on Thursday’s Inside the NBA. “Give a thousand to some NBA players, NFL players, hockey players. Listen, as much taxes as these players pay, let me repeat that, as much as these players pay they deserve some preferential treatment.”
What. The. F word that I can’t use on SI.com?
Thankfully, Barkley’s colleague, Kenny Smith, pushed back and simply asked, “For life and death?”
Barkley doubled down and responded, “Yes.”
Smith then tried to explain the problem with Barkley’s logic, saying, “The amount of money you make …”
Barkley quickly cut off Smith and yelled, “I SAID TAXES.”
Smith again tried to explain to Barkley that the amount of taxes you pay is based on how much money you make.
Barkley refused to hear Smith’s point and just kept pushing his dumb logic that athletes deserve the vaccine because they pay a lot of money in taxes.
Smith, who seemed baffled and annoyed at this point, told Barkley, “We can’t go there.”
Thank goodness for Kenny Smith. That segment would’ve been even worse if Barkley had been allowed to spew this idea totally unchecked.
Does Barkley think athletes are the only people in the United States who pay a lot in taxes? If you’re going to adopt Barkley’s unfair system, then actors, singers, CEOs, etc., should all be allowed to jump the vaccine line.
Who cares about the middle-class parents who are trying to keep their jobs in the middle of a pandemic so they can put food on the table? Who cares if a single parent working two jobs gets the vaccine? We need starting point guards and quarterbacks to be healthy first!
I despise when media people do a fake apology to appease the masses, and I don’t think this situation calls for an apology. What I’d like is for Barkley to understand why his take is discriminatory and just bad.
2. Good Morning Football's Kyle Brandt channeled his inner Herb Brooks on Friday's show and gave the 10-point underdog Browns a pump-up speech for their divisional round playoff game against the Chiefs this Sunday.
On a side note, you really should admire Brandt's versatility. One minute, he's Herb Brooks and the next minute he's basically The Rock.
3. Since James Harden forced a trade out of Houston, locals have filled the website for his restaurant with terrible reviews. Here's the kicker: The restaurant hasn't even opened yet.
4. This is so good. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin reveals, in a major NSFW way, what he used to say to himself when the glass would break and he'd very aggressively walk down the ring.
5. The guest on the latest episode of the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast is Troy Aikman. Fox's lead NFL analyst, who will call the Bucs-Saints divisional playoff game this Sunday, explains why Tom Brady and Drew Brees have had so much success at the late stages of their careers, reveals who he thinks deserves the most credit for the NFL being able to play an uninterrupted season during a pandemic, what it's been like calling games in empty stadiums, his philosophy for criticizing players during a game, his desire for a front-office job, the controversy with the Eagles' final regular-season game, why he thinks Aaron Donald is better than Lawrence Taylor, whether he'd ever want to guest-host a game show, recording a country album many years ago and much more.
You can also watch the podcast on YouTube.
6. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: I don't want to make light of Charles Barkley's offensive comments, which I detailed in the lead item of today's column. But one more point needs to be made about his desire to have pro athletes get vaccinated before others: Not everyone has the makings of a varsity athlete.
7. SPORTS VIDEO OF THE DAY: With the Bucs playing the Saints this Sunday, here's a look back at highlights from a 2002 game between the two teams.
Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.