Charles Barkley Sparks Outrage, Suggests Pro Athletes Deserve COVID Vaccine Priority

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -Kyrie Irving is facing another fine from the NBA for breaching the league’s COVID-19 protocols. NBA President of League Operations, Byron Spruell, announced Friday that Irving will have to pay $50,000 and quarantine for five days. Additionally, Irving will forfeit more than $400,000 in salary per game for those missed during quarantine.

According to a statement from the NBA, Irving violated the league’s restrictions by going to a private indoor party last weekend.

And, Charles Barkley is making waves after he suggested that star athletes should get COVID-19 vaccine priority because they pay more taxes than average Americans.

Barkley said to an NBA on TNT cohost , “We need 300 million shots, given one thousand to some players, NBA players…”

Cohost: “NFL?”

“I was just getting ready to say that. NFL players, hockey players. Listen, as much taxes as these players pay…Let me repeat that, as much taxes as these players pay, they deserve some preferential treatment.”

“For life and death?”


Fans might be split on what he said. One Twitter user wrote: “I don’t disagree with them moving to the front of the line. They are putting their health at risk on a daily basis to keep people at home entertained.” But another said: “Bill Gates donated billions to develop and test the vaccines and even he’s not jumping in line.”

This episode’s panel features:
WCCB TV’s Morgan Fogarty
WCCB News @ Ten anchor Drew Bollea
WCCB Sports anchor Zach Aldridge