Charles Barkley addresses Nikki Haley's Fox News interview Photo credit: CNN

Nikki Haley made the claim that America “has never been a racist country” this week on Fox News, a statement Charles Barkley found comical.

CNN replayed Haley’s comments Wednesday night Barkley’s recently launched weekly show with co-host Gayle King, and the Basketball Hall of Famer couldn’t help himself from erupting with laughter at the presidential candidate’s claim.

“She’s one hundred correct,” Barkley said on CNN’s King Charles with a smirk. “If you forget about slavery, Jim Crow, segregation, antisemitism, Asian hate that’s been going on in this country, America’s been smooth sailing! You can’t be surprised. That was just stupid, America was built on racism.”

While the current severity of structural racism in America is often debated about across political party lines, even the most ignorant person would have to agree the country’s history has been riddled with racial disparities.

“You can criticize the country. This is the greatest country in the world,” Barkley acknowledged of America. “But you can still criticize it. Anybody who thinks we don’t have racism – you turn on the TV every single day, there’s racism! And for her, somebody who wants to be the president of the United States to say something that stupid, that’s just stupid.”

Barkley has never shied away from using his platform to address political or social matters. And that platform has progressed from the NBA on TNT to now include a CNN show that welcomes more of Barkley’s political takes, even if people aren’t watching.

CNN will host a Republican Town Hall with Haley Thursday night in New Hampshire, moderated by Jake Tapper. Barkley suggested he wanted to recruit a group of Black people from New York to fill the audience at Haley’s Town Hall and press the Republican presidential candidate on her America “has never been a racist country” claim.

“I think the reason she said everything is rosy with Black people, she’s been in New Hampshire and Iowa for the last two months, she ain’t seen no Black people!” Barkley added.

Even that is probably giving Haley, who recently boasted that she used to have Black friends, too much credit.

[King Charles]

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to