On Sunday’s broadcast of CBS’s “NFL Today,” former NBA great and current TNT basketball announcer Charles Barkley reacted to Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson’s child abuse allegations by suggesting there are cultural customs in black communities in the South that have made some forms of discipline the norm.
Barkley told CBS’s Jim Rome that if tough standards were applied, that would lead to a lot of black parents potentially being in jail.
Partial transcript as follows:
BARKLEY: I’m from the South, I understand Boomer’s rage and anger, but I have – listen we have to accept, he’s a white guy, I’m a black guy. I don’t know where he’s from, I’m from the South. Whipping, we do that all the time. Every black parent in the South is going to be in jail under those circumstances. I think we have to be careful letting people dictate how they treat –
ROME: It doesn’t matter where you’re from, right is right, and wrong is wrong. It doesn’t matter where you’re from –
BARKLEY: I don’t believe that because listen we spank kids in the South. I think the question about did Adrian Peterson go overboard. But listen Jim we all grew up in different environments. Listen, every black parent in my neighborhood in the South would be in trouble or in jail under those circumstances.
ROME: See my thing is I don’t want to tell anybody how to raise their kids and I don’t want anybody telling me how to raise my kids. But let’s make a distinction between child rearing and child abuse. That was child abuse, there’s no fine line here.
BARKLEY: Jim, I think there’s a fine line. I’ve had many welts on my legs –
ROME: Welts like that –
BARKLEY: Oh yeah, I got beat with switches. First of all, I don’t like the term, when the media talks about it and somebody just said on television, beating a child. Listen –
ROME: That’s what that was, Chuck –
BARKLEY: Well, we call it spanking or whooping our kids.
ROME: If I see open wounds and bruises throughout a body that is a beating.
BARKLEY: Sure. Those pictures are disturbing. I think Adrian said he went overboard. But as far as being from the South, we all spanked our kids. I got spanked, me and my two brothers.
ROME: Again Chuck, not now. 1964 is one thing, 2014 is another.
BARKLEY: And that’s fair. I totally agree with that. Maybe we need to rethink it but I think we have to really be careful trying to teach other parents how to discipline their kids. That’s a very fine line.
ROME: Alright, some disagreement here.
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