NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley said that Vice President Pence “needs to shut the hell up” in response to Pence’s comments blasting the NBA for being accommodating to China. 

“First of all, Vice President Pence needs to shut the hell up,” Barkley said during an NBA pregame show on TNT. “All American companies are doing business in China.”

The 11-time All Star added that he thought it was “unfair” that politicians were attempting “to make the NBA and our players look bad” after President TrumpDonald John TrumpLev Parnas implicates Rick Perry, says Giuliani had him pressure Ukraine to announce Biden probe Saudi Arabia paid 0 million for cost of US troops in area Parnas claims ex-Trump attorney visited him in jail, asked him to sacrifice himself for president MORE started a trade war with China. 

“But I don’t understand why these holier than thou politicians — if they’re so worried about China, then why don’t they stop all transactions with China?” Barkley said.

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Barkley continued that he thought the judgments against NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James were “unfair” and that Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey is free to say what he wants but has to realize “there are consequences” to his comments.

The NBA became involved in controversy when Morey tweeted his support of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, which the association later called “regrettable.” The tweet sparked backlash in China, causing companies to cut ties with the Rockets, the team on which Barkley played his final seasons.

Pence condemned the association for its reaction earlier Thursday, saying it’s “un-American” for U.S. companies to “embrace censorship.”

"In siding with the Chinese Communist Party and silencing free speech, the NBA is acting like a wholly owned subsidiary of the authoritarian regime," Pence said.