During a radio interview late last month, NBA legend Charles Barkley addressed the controversial shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and revealed where he stands on the incident. Though some might be surprised by Barkley’s honest and blunt comments, it’s more surprising that his remarks are just now gaining widespread attention about a week later.
Barkley claimed the “true story came out of the grand jury investigation.” The Ferguson grand jury ultimately decided not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting.
The former NBA all-star said he learned of key forensic evidence, and that several black witnesses supported Officer Darren Wilson’s story, forcing him to block out other questionable information he heard on TV.
Listen to part of the interview below via 9.75 The Fanatic:
As for the so-called protesters who rioted and looted in Ferguson following the grand jury decision, Barkley said they are “scumbags” and declared there is “no excuse for people to be out there burning down people’s businesses, burning down police cars.”
"I know I'm black, but I'm always going to try to be honest and fair," he said of the Ferguson story.
He went on to defend police officers in general, because “it wasn’t for the cops we would be living in the Wild, Wild West in our neighborhoods.”
“We can’t pick out certain incidentals that don’t go our way and act like the cops are all bad,” he continued, later asking, “Do you know how bad some of these neighborhoods would be if it wasn’t for the cops?”
Barkley also excoriated the media over the way stories like the Ferguson shooting are covered. He revealed that he learned a lot of information from the grand jury report that he never heard in the media, including details about an alleged confrontation in Wilson's police car and blood evidence that suggests Brown was going towards the officer when he was shot.
“I can’t believe anything I hear on television anymore,” he added. “And, that’s why I don’t like talking about race issues with the media anymore, because they love this stuff, and lead people to jump to conclusions. The media shouldn’t do that. They never do that when black people kill each other.”
Hall of Famer and television analyst Charles Barkley watches during the American Century Championship celeb-am round at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course, Thursday, July 19, 2012, in Stateline, Nev. Credit: AP
In the first part of the interview, Barkley also defended past remarks in which he claimed "brainwashed" blacks are currently holding up the progress of black people.
"When you try to do well in school, they tell you you're acting white. When you speak intelligent, they tell you you're acting white. We should have more black kids speaking correctly, we should have more black kids going to college and getting great jobs," he said.
Barkley also said the media fails to report on "good, hardworking black people," instead giving coverage to "negative black people."
"That's what I said, and that's what I meant," he said. "I ain't shutting up, and I ain't backing down."