Charles Barkley

Photo credit: s_bukley /


Former NBA star and TNT host Charles Barkley remains an outspoken figure in sports and pop culture. But while Barkley is always willing to give an option, he doesn’t always provide eloquent perspectives when it comes to some situations.

Barkley recently spoke about the shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile and offered an opinion that seemed a bit misguided.

Instead of blaming the police for using violence in situations that could have been handled differently, Barkley chose to blame the Black community. “We need the cops, especially in the Black community. We as Black people, we’ve got to do better,” Barkley said on “The Dan Le Batard Show.”

Barkley continued to defend police while condemning Blacks, “The cops have made some mistakes, Black people have made some mistakes. That don’t [sic] give us the right to riot and shoot cops.”

Barkley also suggested that Blacks aren’t as riled up when it comes to Black on Black violence. “We never get mad when Black people kill each other, well that always has bothered me. I’ve always said we as Black people, if you want respect, you’ve got to give each other respect. You can’t demand respect from White people and the cops if we don’t respect each other,” Barkely said.

However, Barkley apparently is so out of touch with Black communities that he never takes time to see what’s really occurring. When it comes to Black on Black violence in cities such as Chicago, I’ve witnessed entire communities march to bring awareness and an end to gun violence. In fact, hundreds of community leaders, students, and families of the victims of gun violence held a rally in Harold Washington Park in June. Similar marches and gatherings have taken place in communities across the country. But Barkley never took the time to research such events and probably only relies on mainstream media to provide a glimpse of what occurs in Black communities.

Moreover, Barkley is completely wrong when it comes to the dynamics of race and police brutality. There are criminals of all races in every city in America. However, Blacks are being killed at an alarming rate. Over 71 percent of police who were shot and killed in 2016 were killed by White men. But over 100 unarmed Blacks were killed by police in 2015, according to Mapping Police Violence. That reveals how Blacks are overwhelmingly victims of police violence without posing as a serious threat.

Barkley can be funny and spontaneous when co-hosting on the great “Inside The NBA” show on TNT. However, he should probably stick to basketball and jokes until he takes the time to research social issues before he rants.


A.R. Shaw

A.R. Shaw is an author and journalist who documents culture, politics, and entertainment. He has covered The Obama White House, the summer Olympics in London, and currently serves as Lifestyle Editor for Rolling Out magazine. Follow his journey on Twitter @arshaw and Instagram @arshaw23.