Backlash against Barkley, Shaq over Breonna Taylor case comments

Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal are under fire for what they said about the actions of the officers involved.
5:52 | 09/26/20

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Transcript for Backlash against Barkley, Shaq over Breonna Taylor case comments
though, with the backlash against two high profile names in the sports world for their comments on the breonna Taylor case. Charles Barkley and shaquille O'Neal drawing fire for what they said about the actions of the officers involved. ABC's Stephanie Ramos joins us with more. Stephanie, good morning. Reporter: Whit, good morning, Charles Barkley and shaquille O'Neal have been known for making wild comments on TV, but this time they're being criticized on social media after defending the officers who shot and killed breonna Taylor. This morning, basketball legends shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley taking some heat for comments about the breonna Taylor case. I feel just bad the young lady lost her life, but you know, we do have to take into account that her boyfriend did shoot at the cops and shot a cop. Reporter: The two NBA hall of famers discussing the grand jury decision that didn't charge officers in the death of breonna Taylor during the Lakers nuggets playoff pregame show on Thursday. O'Neal agreeing with Barkley and arguing that while no-knock warrants should be abolished, the officers were simply following orders. A homicide occurred, and you know, we're sorry that a homicide had to occur. You know, but when you have a warrant that's signed by the judge, you are doing your job, and if somebody fires at you, I would imagine that you would fire back. Reporter: Then Barkley, taking a stance against defunding the police. I'm like, wait a minute, who are black people supposed to call, ghostbusters when we have crime in our neighborhoods? We need police reform. Reporter: Reaction swift, pouring in on social media, after D.L. Hughley calling Barkley's comments reckless. Saying Taylor was innocent and sleeping in the peace of her own home. In contrast, following Thursday's game, Lebron James who has been outspoken on racial inequality and police brutality weighing in. I know we lost a beautiful woman in breonna, and we want justice no matter, you know, how long it takes. Reporter: And ESPN's Malika Andrews getting choked up when speaking about the players' response to the breonna Taylor case. It is so clear that this system of objectivity in journalism is so whitewashed and doesn't account for the fact that, when I am walking up the hill, my wonderful producer Melinda reminds me that breonna Taylor was 26 and I am 25 and that could have been me. It is very hard to continue to go to work and that's what these players were feeling. Reporter: Former NBA players and ESPN analysts are also reacting to this saying that they're demanding justice. They're demanding that the officers involved in the shooting be charged with breonna's death. For instance, Jalen rose, he says blacks are hurting, and as we relate it to sports, which is predominantly black, the NBA, the wnba, and the NFL, players are performing with heavy hearts. Janai? And Stephanie, we know so many athletes have been outspoken about this, and joining us is ABC contributor, lz Granderson. Good morning. Thank you for being here to talk about this. You're friends with Charles Barkley. The response from critics isn't so much they support police but defended the actions of the officer who opened fire in the raid that killed breonna Taylor. Absolutely. I had an opportunity to have an exchange with Charles yesterday after his comments, and I was pretty clear as to where he was coming from, and I could see where he was coming from. I just felt as if there was critical aspects of this case that he was missing and perhaps if he was more aware of these aspects, he would see there is a continuity between George Floyd, ahmaud arbery, as well as breonna Taylor's case. For instance, the officer that was fired was fired in June. The incident happened in March. If he committed a crime that was worthy of him being fired in March, why did it take protesters and national attention to actually execute his firing in June? That is something that we have seen with the ahmaud arbery case. The video that was circulating circulated many, many months before police actually took action to find the man that killed him. So time and time again, you know, minorities, you know, specifically, but the American public in general are being reminded that sometimes you need a social media push or protesters in the streets in order for law enforcement to be held accountable. That's not the way this should be. I think that when Charles Barkley and shaquille O'Neal look at all the evidence and steps that are involved, they'll see there is continuity. Whether or not she was asleep, and George Floyd was in the streets, those are details that differentiate them, but what keeps them together is that law enforcement needs a push from minorities and activists, and they shouldn't. And there are so many calls to release the grand jury transcript so we know what evidence was presented and what was not. But to hear Charles Barkley and Shaq make these comments, they are in such stark contrast to the opinions of so many athletes and so many different sports. What do you think is the impact of those two men making the comments that they did? First of all, I think it's critical to be reminded that, you know, just because, you know, they're black doesn't mean that they all think alike. Just because they're athletes, doesn't mean they see the world the exact same way. It is okay to have diversity of thought, even among minorities. I know that might be hard for some people to comprehend, but that's actually true. My biggest push with them is to make sure they know exactly what they're talking about so the diversity of thought isn't based upon fragmented information but all of the information, and they have a very large platform, and with that platform comes a responsibility for knowing exactly what you're talking about. Thank you so much for being with us this morning. We appreciate it.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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