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Charles Barkley Says If He Sees Black Person With Trump Mugshot He'll 'Punch Him In The Face'

The former NBA star spoke out to CNN's Gayle King about Trump's claims that he's appealing to Black voters.

Screenshot of Charles Barkley; Donald Trump
CNN; Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Former NBA star Charles Barkley stirred controversy during a recent episode of CNN's King Charles when he told co-host Gayle King that if he sees a Black person wearing Donald Trump's mugshot t-shirts he will "punch him in the face."

The discussion arose after a clip featuring Trump bragging about Black supporters embracing the shirts, which display Trump's Fulton County booking photo related to his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

When King asked for Barkley's thoughts on Trump's remarks, he responded with the following statement:

“First of all, I'm just gonna say this: if I see a Black person walking around with Trump's mugshot, I'm [gonna] punch him in the face."

After King urged him not to do any such thing lest he be arrested for assault, Barkley touched on why he was so passionate about the topic.

"If I was at that conference I would have got up and walked out. That was an insult to all Black people.”

While the studio guests laughed, King cautioned against encouraging Barkley's statement.

You can watch their exchange in the video below.

While people may have understood where Barkley was coming from, they were nonetheless displeased by his declaration and criticized him for it.

Barkley went on to criticize Trump for comparing himself to Black people during a speech to the Black Conservative Federation's Honors Gala.

At the time, Trump told the black-tie event that his four criminal indictments have garnered increased support among Black Americans "because they have been hurt so badly and discriminated against, and they actually viewed me as I’m being discriminated against."

Barkley expressed his offense at Trump's comparison, emphasizing the historical discrimination faced by Black communities:

"To compare Black history, when we've been discriminated against, to his plight—first of all, he's a billionaire, and they're prosecuting him for stuff he did wrong. … Well, some of the stuff is true. They did storm the Capitol, they did say that the election was stolen. Those aren't lies, Gayle.”
“He's had a great life. He's been President of the United States. To insult Black people who have been discriminated against all these years, to put them in the same category."
"I was just offended."

Barkley is politically outspoken and previously made headlines for saying that politicians on both sides of the aisle stoke racial tensions to "divide and conquer."

His most recent remarks about Trump came after Michael Steele, the first Black chair of the Republican National Committee (RNC), expressed skepticism about Trump's ability to garner support from Black voters.

Steele said Trump and the GOP's actions amount to "pandering BS" because they are not addressing fair housing and health and educational disparities in Black neighborhoods or the heightened "mortality rate among Black women and babies."