Charles Barkley speaks out on Ferguson controversy, defends police


“The notion that white cops are out there just killing black people — that’s ridiculous. That’s just flat-out ridiculous,” the TNT basketball analyst told CNN. “I challenge any black person to try to make that point. Cops are actually awesome. They are the only thing in the ghetto between this place being the wild, wild west. So this notion that cops are out there just killing black men is ridiculous and I hate that narrative coming out of this entire situation.”

Barkley previously had strong words about the violent protesters in Ferguson, calling them “scumbags” for looting and setting businesses on fire after officer Darren Wilson was not indicted in the death of Michael Brown. He told CNN the only time America discusses race is when something bad happens.

“We’ve always had a racial issue in this country and the biggest problem with it is we never discuss race until something bad happens. We never have meaningful dialogue over a cold beer when things are going good,” Barkley explained to CNN. “When something bad happens, everybody has a tribe mentality. Everybody wants to protect their own tribe, whether they’re right or wrong.”

Barkley stated that there’s a reason why police racially profile the black community.

“We as black people, we got a lot of crooks. We can’t just wait until something like this happens. We have to look at ourselves in the mirror,” Barkley told CNN. “There’s a reason they racially profile us at times. Sometimes it’s wrong, sometimes it’s right. To act like we hold no responsibility for some of this stuff is disingenuous.”

via Charles Barkley Defends Police Following Ferguson Protests « CBS St. Louis.

Former NBA player Etan Thomas published a letter to Barkley in The Nation, expressing disappointment and outrage at Barkley’s comments.

So, as a federal investigation by the Justice Department into the shooting death of Michael Brown continues, in addition to an investigation into allegations of unconstitutional policing patterns and practices by the Ferguson Police Department; and with the inconsistent officer testimony to the grand jury and the continuing mistrust between the black community and the police in mind, you can understand why your statements disappointed, angered, sickened and disgusted many in the black community. Because it felt like betrayal.

You weren’t afraid to ask that all-important question, a question that confronts people who look like Michael Brown, Eric Garner and myself: “Who’s afraid of a large black man?” Tragically, it now seems like the answer might be you.

via An Open Letter To Charles Barkley | The Nation.

On Wednesday, a New York grand jury voted not to indict a police officer in the death of an unnarmed African-American who died due to a chokehold administered by the officer. LeBron James took to Instagram in the aftermath of riots that broke out following the Ferguson verdict to call for peace. Indiana Pacers forward David West has been outspoken about the case on Twitter.


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