Charles Barkley has been talking a lot about race and Ferguson lately, and responded to criticism on TNT last night alongside Kenny Smith, a fellow commentator who penned an open letter to Barkley, offering some justification for why black people are mistrusting of the police.
Barkley stood by his comments earlier this week that there’s no justification for violence. He said, “We’ve got a lot of race-baiters out there,” and continued to defend the cops. Smith argued that there’s not a close enough examination of why that mistrust exists and why those communities are not fairing well economically.
Barkley and Smith shared respectful disagreement, but Barkley had some tough words for some of his more ardent critics (though didn’t call anyone out by name). He expressed that everyone would be jumping to his side immediately if he said cops suck, because people don’t want to hear your opinion if you disagree.
“Some people are going to agree with me,” Barkley concluded, “and some people are going to kiss my ass.”