The basketball legend sat down today with CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo, who asked him for his opinion on the Zimmerman trial verdict. Here’s what he had to say:
That’s probably not a popular opinion among most people. But just looking at the evidence, I agreed with the verdict. I just feel bad, because I don’t like when race gets out in the media because I don’t think the media has a pure heart, as I call it. There are very few people who have a pure heart when it comes to race. Racism is wrong in any shape, form — there are a lot of black people who are racist, too. I think sometimes when people talk about race, they act like only white people are racist. There are a lot of black people who are racist, and I don’t like when it gets out there in the media, because I don’t think the media has clean hands … And, like I said, I feel sorry that young kid got killed, but just judging by the evidence, I don’t think that guy should have [gone] to jail for the rest of his life. Because something happened bad that night, obviously. And I’ll tell you, Mr. Zimmerman was … racially profiling, but I think Trayvon Martin — God rest his soul — I think he did flip the switch and started beating the hell out of Mr. Zimmerman. But it was just a bad situation. Like I said, the main thing I feel bad for, it gives every white person and black person who’s racist a platform to vent their ignorance, you know. That’s the thing that bothers me the most. Because I watched the trial closely, and I watch 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’re white or black. The bias, it definitely comes out. It was a bad situation. We all lost, and I feel bad for his parents. You never want to see anybody lose their kid.
Barkley’s response did garner plenty of nastiness:
But many others appreciated Sir Charles’ carefully considered, sensible remarks and his refusal to play into the media’s race-baiting hands:
Hear, hear. The loudest race-obsessed political mouths would do well to take a lesson from him: