Always-outspoken basketball legend Charles Barkley didn't hold back when asked about the hot issue of the moment: whether or not Confederate statues and monuments should be removed.
The Alabama native and NBA Hall of Famer told Rick Karle, sports director at WRBC-TV in Birmingham, that protesting the statues is "wasted energy."
“I’m not gonna waste my time worrying about these Confederate statues,” Barkley said.
He then offered an alternate idea: "You know what I’m gonna do? I’m gonna keep doing great things," Barkley continued in a clip posted Thursday. "I’m gonna keep trying to make a difference — No. 1, in the black community, 'cause I’m black — but I’m also gonna try to do good things in the world."
For Barkley, the prospect of "screaming at a neo-Nazi who’s gonna hate me no matter what" is wasted energy just like the effort one expends "worrying about these statues that they've got all over the country."
But Karle pushed back a bit: "So do you leave them up and ignore them?"
Barkley was incredulous: "I’ve always ignored them!" He then offered more of his life's perspective.
“I’m 54 years old," Barkley told Karle. "I’ve never thought about those statues a day in my life. I think if you ask most black people, to be honest, they ain't thought a day in their life about those stupid statues.”
“What we as black people need to do ... we need to worry about getting our education,” he said. “We need to stop killing each other. We need to try to find a way to have more economic opportunity. Those things are important and significant."
— Rick Karle (@RickKarle) August 17, 2017
(H/T: BizPac Review)