Charles Barkley Will Only Wear A USWNT Jersey ‘Because The Men Suck’

The world of American soccer broadcasting delivered some big news earlier this week when Turner Sports and the U.S. Soccer Federation announced a partnership to bring USMNT and USWNT games to the network. According to a release, the agreement “will make TNT/TBS and HBO Max the exclusive English-language home to more than 20 Women’s and Men’s National Team matches each year” starting in 2023.

It’s not Turner’s first foray into footy — the broadcaster previously was home to the Champions League — but this is an opportunity for them to showcase the teams ahead of a number of huge international tournaments. And to celebrate, the network’s most prominent group of sports broadcasters, the Inside the NBA guys, were all given jerseys during Thursday night’s slate of games.

Charles Barkley, in particular, was excited to get his hands on a U.S. Soccer jersey, although it comes with a catch: he wants everyone to understand this is a USWNT shirt with his name on it.

“I just wanna make this perfectly clear: this is a women’s jersey,” Barkley said. “Cause the American men team sucks. They do, they do. Shout out to the women for finally getting equal pay. So, I’m glad to be wearing this female jersey, cause the men suck. The men gotta do better, man. The men gotta do better. We’re the United States of America, we should not be bad at any sport.”

The American women are, of course, the most decorated team in the sport, winning four World Cups and producing a number of the best players to ever step on the pitch — as of this writing, the women are the top team in the world per FIFA’s rankings. As for the men, while they are a decent side, they certainly are not as dominant on the world stage as the women. The team infamously missed the World Cup in 2018, and while they are currently ranked 13th in the world by FIFA, they have yet to secure a spot in the 2022 World Cup.

The good news for the men is that it’s more likely they make it than they don’t, as they currently sit in second place in CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying and should be able to secure at least fourth place and a spot in an inter-confederation playoff game against a team from Oceania that they’d be favored to beat. The bad news is that, uh, well, it was more likely than not that they’d make it enter the final qualifying window in 2018, too, and weird things can happen in those sorts of environments. And besides, even if they do make it to the World Cup, it seems like they still have a long way to go before they earn Barkley’s respect.

(Via Insider)