Alabama native and former Auburn University and NBA basketball star Charles Barkley is doubling down on his support of police, in spite of intense criticism for his previous comments on race and policing in the African-American community.
During an interview on The Dan Le Batard Show several weeks ago, Barkley acknowledged that police “have made some mistakes,” but said “that don’t give us the right to riot and shoot cops.” Never one to shy away from controversy, Barkley went on to say that from his perspective, African-Americans “never get mad when black people kill each other,” but often rush to judgement against white police officers.
“There’s a lot of blame to go around but I’m not going to get on TV and yell like all these other idiots,” Barkley continued. “I’m not perfect. I’m not trying to be perfect. But you have to ask yourself, ‘Are you part of the problem or are you part of the solution?'”
Barkley, now an NBA analyst for TNT, followed up the Le Batard interview this week by discussing the issue again on Bleacher Report Radio.
“We in the black community, we need the cops. Cops are important,” he said. “They’re very significant. We as black people gotta do a better job of policing ourselves.”
Barkley said he has grown accustomed to enduring criticism after making such statements.
“That’s the one thing about being black, black people only like you when you say what they want you to say,” he concluded. “But I’ve been in that game for a long time, so that doesn’t faze me. I’m a big boy. I can handle the heat.”
A video of Barkley’s contentious appearance on the Dan Le Batard Show can be seen below.
(h/t Daily Mail)