On “The Dan Le Batard Show” Tuesday, NBA legend Charles Barkley laid out a powerful defense of law enforcement while calling on the black community to “do better,” despite Le Betard’s persistent eye-rolling and dismissive attitude directed at Barkley.
While imploring those in the black community to be “part of the solution” rather than “part of the problem,” Barkley defended police officers who often have to make tough decisions in “fast motion.” He also labeled “idiot” racial dividers and the divisive media as “Monday morning quarterbacks” who have no idea what it’s like to be a cop.
Watch the video below:
“The cops have made some mistakes; black people have made some mistakes,” started Barkley “We have to sit back and be honest with each other. The cops have made some mistakes, that don’t give us the right to riot and shoot cops. We need the cops, especially in the black community. We as black people, we’ve got to do better.
“We never get mad when black people kill each other, which has always bothered me,” he continued.
He debunked the lie that making this point is somehow “changing the subject.” This has always been the subject, he said, “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.”
Speaking to the current racial divide, Barkley slammed “idiots” on TV fanning the flames of racial tensions. “As a black man, I always ask myself: ‘Am I part of the problem or part of the solution?’” Barkley suggested that everyone ask themselves that question before spouting off.
The NBA superstar then laid out more defense of law enforcement. He reiterated conversational points he and his bodyguard, a black cop, have had about recent police shootings: “All these people (the media) are Monday morning quarterbacks…because they don’t have the stones to play on Sunday,” he said. “Everybody says what I would do, or what I should do.”
Barkley explained that cops are under pressure in “fast motion” situations. He added that sometimes cops may “overreact” or “panic,” as he suggests they did in both the recent publicized police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, but essentially said that he would have reacted in the same way in those moment.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that if I’m fighting with a guy and somebody screams ‘gun’ and I got a gun, I’m gonna shoot the guy,” he said, speaking about the shooting of Sterling.
Taking a break from rolling his eyes at Barkley from the comforts of his studio, Le Betard interjected to condemn cops for “racial profiling.”
“Charles, you can’t be profiling like that,” said Le Betard.
Barkley replied: “I’m not saying they should racial profile guys. I’m saying we can’t jump to conclusions every time, like it’s because a guy is black. First of all, there is racial profiling, there’s always been racism, and first of all, there’s racism on both sides, let’s get that straight.”
“If it wasn’t for the cops, we’d be living in the Wild Wild West,” he added.
“Cops have made mistakes,” he admitted, but “why don’t black people get mad when we kill each other? And I’m not trying to deflect of place blame, that’s just a fact.”
“That’s not true, Charles,” said Le Betard, doing what the left calls “whitesplaining.”
“That is true, Dan, and first of all, you’re not black,” he said. “I’ve been black my whole life, most black people I know are killed by other black people.”
“Dan,” continued Barkley, “if you’re gonna sit on TV and say that there’s the same moral outrage when black people kill each other, when white people kill each other, that’s just disingenuous on your part.”
In 2014, Barley also called out the black community during the highly publicized Michael Brown case, calling those who rioted and looted “scumbags.” In that same year, the NBA legend scolded the black community for commending success and intelligence as not “black enough,” specifically highlighting the backlash against NFL quarterback Russell Wilson from fellow black people.