Love him or hate him, Charles Barkley is the man. You may think he’s “turrible” as a television analyst for the NBA on TNT and he may not have been a role model during his Hall of Fame career, but Chuck has always been a straight shooter and he gave a crystal-clear, spot-on answer when asked about the George Zimmerman verdict during his appearance on CNBC’s Closing Bell.
“I agree with the verdict. I feel sorry that young kid got killed, but they didn’t have enough evidence to charge [Zimmerman]. Something clearly went wrong that night.”
The show’s host, Maria Bartiromo, was taken aback by Barkley’s answer and then obviously followed up and Chuck gave all viewers more words of wisdom by saying racism exists in all colors and that both Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin were likely at fault for what happened. He specifically pointed out that his opinion as a black man probably isn’t very popular, but when has Chuck ever been one to care what others think?
Like Bartiromo, many likely find it astonishing that Barkley feels this way while many are calling for Zimmerman’s head after he was acquitted by a Florida jury. But when you stop and think about it, his answer was the most logical of all and he made sure everyone understands why.
“And let me say, Mr. Zimmerman was wrong — he was racial profiling. I think Trayvon Martin — God rest his soul — I think he did flip the switch and start beating the hell out of Mr. Zimmerman. But it was just a bad situation. And like I said, the main thing I feel bad for, it gives every white person and black person who is racist a platform to vent their ignorance.
“You know, that’s the thing that bothered me the most because I watched this trial closely, and I watched all these people on television talking about it. A lot of these people have a hidden agenda. You know, they want to have their racist views, whether they are white or black.”
God bless Charles Barkley for trying to end racism on all fronts while also trying to put some relatively positive closure on this tragic time for the Martin family. If everyone who knows only what the media has told them about the Zimmerman case thought as logically as Chuck, our nation wouldn’t be at odds over this case right now.
We may make jokes about Sir Charles as an analyst, but he has spoken more rationally than any other public figure with a national platform about this specific case and he’s to be praised for it. Thank you, Chuck. At least today, you are a role model.