WEEKEND Sports stars slam San Francisco over crime, homelessness

Sports Celebrities Criticize San Francisco’s Handling of Crime and Homelessness Issues Over the Weekend

San Francisco has gained a notorious reputation for being filled with crime, addiction, and homelessness. This negative image is causing businesses, locals, and visitors to seek alternatives.

The city’s extensive issues are now affecting its sports scene, deterring professional athletes from joining San Francisco’s teams.

Charles Barkley, a former NBA star turned commentator, has been vocal about his disdain for San Francisco, especially after it was chosen to host the NBA All-Star Game in 2025. Despite requests to tone down his comments, Barkley continues to criticize the city’s condition.

During a broadcast, Barkley made a stark comparison between the cold of Indianapolis and the “homeless crooks” of San Francisco, questioning Reggie Miller’s preference. Taylor Rooks’s off-camera defense of San Francisco was quickly dismissed by Barkley, leading to a debate with Draymond Green about the city’s safety. Barkley sarcastically remarked that one could safely walk the streets in a bulletproof vest.

Barkley’s criticisms of San Francisco aren’t new. He previously commented on the city’s cleanliness during a game delay caused by a leaky roof, suggesting rain was needed to wash away the “dirtiness and homelessness.”

Buster Posey, a former San Francisco Giants star, echoed concerns about the city’s drug and crime issues. He suggested these problems might influence athletes’ decisions, like Shohei Ohtani’s choice of the Los Angeles Dodgers over the Giants. Posey emphasized that the perception of safety is a significant factor for free agents.

Despite these criticisms, some areas of San Francisco, like the vicinity of Oracle Park, are considered safe, boasting luxury accommodations, upscale dining, and good public transportation.

In defense of the city, new Giants signee Matt Chapman expressed his comfort and desire to play in San Francisco, highlighting the positive aspects and the team’s ambition to win.

Scott Boras, representing South Korean outfielder Jung Hoo Lee, argued against singling out San Francisco for its homelessness issue, pointing out similar problems in other major cities. He stressed that athletes are more concerned with a team’s competitive structure.

City leaders and sports figures have defended San Francisco, acknowledging the need for improvement but also highlighting the city’s strengths and potential for positive change.

Kyle Smeallie humorously suggested that Barkley’s criticisms stem from envy of the Warriors’ success, contrasting Barkley’s career without an NBA championship to the Warriors’ seven titles.