NBA great and current TNT basketball analyst Charles Barkley will host a new show called “The Race Card.”
The six one-hour episodes intend to follow Sir Charles as he digs deep into racism in America and helps shed light on why the country “is so divided right now,” according to a Turner press release. TNT plans to air the series in 2017. The cable network ordered six episodes.
“Barkley wants to bust up the echo chamber mentality that so often has people retreating to corners of the like-minded, where views are reinforced and ideas are distorted into angry, unexamined groupthink conclusions.
“Each week, Barkley will take on the rapidly calcifying positions around today’s hot-button topics,” the release continued.
TNT further stated, “Barkley will put ideas on their feet, with real-world proof-of-concept tests that will engage people and expose the truth behind their closely held beliefs.”
The 53-year-old earns a somewhat unpredictable reputation when weighing in on racial issues over the years. What he says isn’t always what one might expect.
Barkley spoke about the Ferguson protests in 2014 with CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin, not long after telling Philadelphia’s 97.5 The Fanatic that the looters in Ferguson were “scumbags.” He backed up his comment arguing that the notion that white police officers are out to shoot blacks is “ridiculous.” Barkley pointed out that “We never discuss race in this country until something bad happens.”
Barkley believes that officer Darren Wilson should not have been indicted for shooting Michael Brown, yet supports the Ferguson citizens right to peacefully protest. “To be burning people’s property, burning police cars, looting people’s stores, that is 100% ridiculous,” the NBA Hall of Famer told Baldwin.
As far as the recent tragic shooting of cops in cities across America, the former power forward, voted one of the NBA’s 50 greatest players, responded: “The cops have made some mistakes, but there’s a lot of blame to go around. But I’m not going to get on TV and yell like all these other idiots.”
Barkley says he is ready and willing to meet with anybody to discuss race in a meaningful way. “I always tell myself as a black man: ‘Am I part of the problem or part of the solution?” He added, “If I’m out doing illegal stuff, stupid stuff, I’m part of the problem. If I’m helping young black kids go to college like I’m trying to do, if I’m giving money to causes to help young men, I know I’m part of the solution.”