On Thursday afternoon, Charles Barkley, retired professional NBA basketball player and current analyst on TNT's "Inside the NBA," appeared on CNBC’s “Closing Bell.”
After being asked by Maria Bartiromo about his opinion of the George Zimmerman trial’s verdict, he said, “Well, I agreed with the verdict. I feel sorry that young kid got killed. But they didn't have enough evidence to charge him. Something clearly went wrong that night. Clearly, something went wrong. I feel bad for anybody who loses a kid, but if you looked at the case and you don't make it -- there was some racial profiling, no question about it. But something happened that changed the dynamic of that night, and I know that's probably not a popular opinion among most people, but just looking at the evidence I agreed with the verdict.”
Regarding the effect of race discussion in mass media, Barkley remarked, “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 -- a lot of black people are racist too. I think sometimes when people talk about racism, they say only white people are racist. There are a lot of black people who are racist. I don't like when it gets out there in the media, because I don't think the media has clean hands.”
Barkley continued discussing the verdict and the situation that led to the trial in the first place, expressing disappointment about the effect the ordeal had on public discussion: “The main thing I feel bad for: It gives every black and white person who is racist a platform to vent their ignorance.”
Barkley continued discussing how bias came out in full force during the trial and concluded his remarks with this opinion: “The bias, it definitely comes out. It was a bad situation, we all lost. And I feel bad for his parents, because you don't ever want to see anybody lose a kid.”
Barkley is known to be an outspoken critic of social and media issues, especially in 1993 when he argued athletes should not be considered role models, which became the basis for his "I am not a role model" Nike commercial.
Watch the full interview above and let us know what you think in the comments.