NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley on Tuesday lashed out at Republicans and Democrats, accusing both of exploiting the impoverished for political gain.
“All politics is rich people screwing poor people,” he said during the NCAA basketball tournament media day, according to The Guardian.
“They’ve got no economic opportunities,” the retired basketball star added. "They spend all their time blaming each other because rich people throw words at them like illegal immigration and racism and things like that.
“If poor people ever get smart, and realize: 'We should band together, rise up, instead of fighting each other,’ we probably can make a difference.”
Barkley derided the GOP as especially guilty of sowing discord by focusing on class warfare and economic inequality.
“The Republicans always do a good job dividing and conquering,” he said. "They do a really great job of making black folks, poor white folks and Hispanics not like each other.
“All they talk about immigration, the notion that illegal immigrants are ruining our country [by] taking jobs,” Barkley continued. "We’re shipping all of our jobs out of the country.
“If you’re a poor white person and your life sucks, it’s easy for you to blame Hispanics [because] you don’t want to look in the mirror and say, ‘I’m the reason my life sucks.' The Republicans do a good job exploiting that.”
The former Philadelphia 76ers and Phoenix Suns player also expressed disappointment with Democrats.
“I’ve always voted Democratic – always,” Barkley said. "I don’t know why. I’m trying to figure out exactly what they’ve done for us.”
Barkley revealed last August that he supports Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) in his quest for the GOP presidential nomination.
The outspoken athlete additionally described Republican presidential front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpRNC strategizes against Clinton VP contenders Analysis: Trump, Clinton plans not in line with balancing national debt Trump blows response to Brexit vote MORE’s supporters as “losers” last December.