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Inside the Crowd: SF Bids Professional Hater Charles Barkley a Proper Farewell

Written by David SjostedtPublished May. 27, 2022 • 9:40am
Tyler Shirai-Rielly, center, who created “Chuck You suck” posters, screams at Charles Barkley at Thrive City, outside Chase Center during the Warriors vs. Mavericks game on March 26, 2022. | Camille Cohen/The Standard

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An alcohol-inspired, victory-drunk crowd of Warriors fans in the Chase Center’s outdoor viewing area gave NBA commentator Charles Barkley a proper Bay Area farewell after the Dubs big victory on Thursday night. 

Barkley has made his dislike for San Francisco well-known over the last week, calling San Francisco “the armpit of America” during Thursday’s pregame coverage. Evidently, many locals took issue with Barkley’s comments, printing out posters for Thursday’s postgame show with a rallying cry plastered across them: “Chuck You Suck.” 

They screamed in unison at the former NBA All-Star and current professional curmudgeon. Christian Virgil Reyes, an SF native in the crowd wearing SF earrings and an SF baseball cap, told The Standard that Barkley lacks an understanding of the city’s character. 

“The city is very misunderstood. On the surface, we’ve got a lot to fix but we’ve got a rich spirit,” Reyes said. “You can come here with your sports takes but don’t talk trash about the city.”

Tom Lonzo yells “Chuck you suck!” when Charles Barkley adresses the crowd in Thrive City, outside Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif. during the Warriors vs. Mavericks game on March 26, 2022. | Camille Cohen/The Standard

Moments later, a member of the crowd hurled an object at Barkley, prompting him to turn around and threaten the raucous group with his coffee cup.  

“Chuck, you suck. Chuck, you suck. Chuck, you suck,” they screamed relentlessly.  

It’s unclear what route Barkley took from the airport to the stadium and how he came upon his impression of the city. But he found particular issue with the city’s “dirtiness and homelessness,” he said during a postgame show on May 24. 

“Ya’ll got to clean that off the streets. It’s really like hell down here,” Barkley said.  

His comments sparked a twitter frenzy as people from the rest of the country, and some from San Francisco, took the opportunity to rag on the city’s struggles to house its impoverished residents. 

This isn’t the first time the “Round Mound of Rebound,” as he was called in his playing days, took aim at the Bay Area.  As far back as 2007, Barkley said that he would “rather stay on Alcatraz than San Francisco or Oakland.” 

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Despite his storied history hating on the city, many locals still struggle to understand where Barkley’s well-documented Bay Area hate is coming from.  

“What is there not to love about the bay?” asked Tyler Shirai-Rielly, an SF Native who printed out posters advertising the group’s rallying cry. “He went wrong in so many ways.”  

Fortunately for Barkley, the Warriors win likely marks the last time he needs to come to San Francisco—at least for this season.

The coverage shifts networks from TNT to ABC as the Warriors advance to the NBA finals to face the winner of a series between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat.  

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David Sjostedt can be reached at [email protected]

Arts & culture story tips can be sent to [email protected].


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