Charles Barkley Jussie Betrayed the Black, LGBTQ Communities

2/23/2019 7:46 AM PST

Charles Barkley Says Jussie Smollett Did Great Damage to Black, LGBT Causes

EXCLUSIVE

Charles Barkley seemed crestfallen Friday night over Jussie Smollett, lamenting how he betrayed the black and LGBTQ communities.

We got the famed commentator at the 1818 Club in Atlanta on his way out of Ric Flair's 70th birthday party, and he had some sobering thoughts about the "Empire" actor ... whom he calls talented but also someone who lost his way, causing "immeasurable damage."

Charles was much more serious than he was Friday, when he joked about Jussie on "Inside the NBA," when he suggested if the Jussie really wanted to be a hate crime victim, he should have just gone to Liam Neeson's neighborhood.

As for Barkley's serious comments, he's part of an ever-increasing chorus of people who feel Jussie did great damage. As we reported, Jussie vehemently denies concocting the story.