Charles Barkley feels sorry for Jay Cutler following benching

Charles Barkley felt bad for Jay Cutler following the news that the Bears’ quarterback had been benched for Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions. And yes, the NBA Hall of Famer and TNT NBA analyst knows he’s in the minority.

“It’s unfortunate, man,” said Barkley Wednesday at Chicago Cut Steakhouse – the same restaurant where he ran into Cutler and fellow Bear Brandon Marshall in 2012 and picked up their check. “When you’re a celebrity and things are going bad, normal people have no sympathy for you. It’s interesting, I was reading Beyonce’s article ... she said once you’re famous, people don’t look at you as a person anymore. Jay Cutler is a person. He has a wife and kids.”

(Barkley was likely referring to “Yours and Mine,” the short-film Beyonce released last week in which she said, “When you’re famous, no one looks at you as a human anymore.”)

“Sir Charles” – who is in town to call Thursday’s Bulls-New York Knicks game at the United Center for TNT – has come to Cutler’s defense in the past during interviews with ESPN 1000's “The Waddle & Silvy Show.” Barkley stood up for Cutler while many questioned his heart for leaving the NFC Championship in 2011 with a knee injury and again in 2012 when Cutler was criticized for shoving then-teammate J’Marcus Webb during a game.

With the Bears now 5-9 on the season and Cutler unable to live up to the seven-year, $126.7 million contract he signed in January, criticism of Cutler has reached a fevered pitch.

“Nobody wants to hear about how bad you suck every day on television,” Barkley said Wednesday. “As a guy who been through some stuff, it sucks when everybody is talking bad about you on television all the time.”

Does Barkley understand the Bears' decision to replace Cutler Sunday with Jimmy Clausen?

“I do understand it, but it still sucks,” Barkley said. “Every day, people are talking bad about you.”

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