*Charles Barkley is catching heat after suggesting star athletes should get priority COVID-19 vaccines because they pay more taxes than average Americans.
“We need 300 million shots, give a thousand to some NBA players, NFL players, hockey players,” he said on TNT’s Inside the NBA. “As much taxes as these players pay, they deserve some preferential treatment.”
But co-host Kenny Smith was quick to note “We can’t go there. I don’t think you can go there.”
Watch the moment via the clip below.
Charles Barkley says NBA/NFL players should jump the line and get vaccine shots because they pay more taxes than normal people pic.twitter.com/ce5y1WTTOk
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) January 15, 2021
As expected, Twitter users have plenty to say about Barkley’s remarks.
TMZ Sports followed up with Smith about his partner’s comments and he shared a different point.
“These are the healthiest people in the world. You don’t need the vaccines first,” Smith said at LAX. “However, the only thought process of that is if you’re allowing sports to participate in the country, you do become a super spreader because you’re going to city to city.”
One Twitter user reacted to Barkley’s statement with “They deserve no preferential treatment! In fact, they should be last now. There are people risking their lives to put food on the table. Bad take, Barkley, very bad take!”
Another wrote “They pay more in taxes because their salaries are through the roof. This means that they also have the financial wherewithal to pay their medical bills, something many lower income folks do not. The expectation that the rich deserve preferential treatment is privileged & gross.”
A third added, I am glad retired athletes do not make vaccination policies. If Charles Barkley is going to talk vaccines a better use of the @NBAonTNT platform, would be to encourage sports fans to get vaccinated if they want to see quick return to filled sporting arenas.”
Do you agree? Let us know in the comments.