Charles Barkley never hesitates to offer his opinion. But many people didn't care for Sir Charles's surprising thoughts about the non-indictment of police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of unarmed teen Michael Brown.
Former U.S. Olympian John Carlos is one of those people. Carlos, who is best remembered for raising his black-gloved fist in the air with Tommie Smith during the 1968 Olympics, thought Barkley had ulterior motives in siding with the grand jury's non-indictment.
“He’s just looking for political votes down the line,” Carlos said in an interview with the New York Daily News. “If you don’t have anything good to say, you should keep your mouth shut. I don’t know where Mr. Barkley gets his reports. He’s a basketball commentator. It’s not like he’s in the legal field. He shouldn’t be saying derogatory things.”
That's in response to Barkley calling Ferguson rioters "scumbags" during an interview with a Philadelphia radio station last week and sounding OK with the grand jury's decision in the Brown shooting.
“The true story came out from the grand jury testimony,” Barkley said. “Three or four witnesses, who were black, said exactly what the cop said. We have to be really careful with the cops, because if it wasn’t for the cops we would be living in the Wild, Wild West in our neighborhoods.”
Carlos has long been an advocate of athletes speaking their mind about big political and social news stories instead of being silent, but doesn't respect Barkley's opinions. Still, he thinks other athletes and entertainers should step up and speak up about these kind of issues.
"Not just athletes,” Carlos said. “Puff Daddy, Snoop (Dogg), we haven’t heard much from those individuals or our black movie stars out there. They chose to take the back seat. How many millions of dollars do you have to have in your bank account before you speak your mind?”
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(Photos from left: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for NAACP Image Awards, Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)