As Black Lives Matter supporters continue to rally against the police-perpetrated deaths of Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile, former basketball star Charles Barkley has surprisingly chosen to take an opposing stance against them. While being interviewed on The Dan Le Batard Show on Tuesday, the 53-year-old TNT Sports commentator expressed that most instances of racial profiling are due to the racial stereotypes that are upheld by the African-American community.
“There’s a lot of people at fault [for these deaths],” Barkley stated to the ESPN host, also making mention of the five Dallas police officers who were killed during a Black Lives Matter protest last Wednesday. “The cops have made some mistakes, [and] black people have made some mistakes. That doesn’t give us the right to riot and shoot cops; we need the cops, especially in the black community. We, as black people, have got to do better.”
Although never specifically mentioned by name, Barkley also seemed to take issue with the Black Lives Matter movement for ignoring instances of black-on-black crime while instead focusing on the victims of police brutality, such as Sterling and Castile, who were gunned down by law enforcement less than 24 hours apart last week.
“Somebody [always] screams [to me], ‘you can’t change the subject,” he stated. “First of all, I’ve never ‘changed the subject.’ I’ve always said that [if] black people want respect, you have to give each other respect. There’s a lot of blame to go around, but I’m not going to get on TV and yell like all of these other idiots, but I am willing to sit down with anybody and have [some] constructive criticism.”
As expressed here on the Inquisitr, both Sterling (a father of five who was selling CDs outside of a Baton Rouge store) and Castile (a Minnesota-based school cafeteria worker who complied to police’s orders when he and his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, came to rest at a traffic stop) were committing no crimes when they were gunned down, which made Barkley’s choice to lump them as common criminals all the more problematic.
“Some black people are crooks,” Barkley expressed to a shocked Le Batard. “Some of these black people out there are committing crimes. Let’s [not] sit there and act like all our hands are clean.”
“Charles, you can’t be profiling like that,” Le Batard countered.
“I’m not saying they should [racially] profile [people],” he partially proclaimed. “I’m saying we can’t jump to conclusions every time [just] because a guy is black.”
Interestingly, within the same interview, Barkley approved of the recent show of black-on-black violence between Dreymond Green, a forward of the Golden State Warriors, and Jermaine Edmondson, a college football player for the Michigan State Spartans.
ESPN and Larry Brown Sports explained that while dining at a East Lansing restaurant earlier this week, Green punched Edmondson in the face and had one of his lackeys choke his girlfriend after Edmondson asked for an apology for an earlier grievance, which included a racially-motivated taunt over Edmonson’s scholarship to attend MSU.
“Good for Dreymond Green,” he said to Le Batard. “You, and these other idiots in the press, have given these fools power to tweet and say whatever they want to about these professional players. More power to Dreymond for slapping the hell out of that kid.”
Unsurprisingly, Barkley’s comments have caused quite a contentious whirlwind on social media, most notably on Twitter (where, in spite of his claims of being against such a thing, he does have an account).
No word on how this may affect Charles Barkley’s current position with TNT.
[Photo by Brett Deering/Stringer/Getty Images]