Charles Barkley told a Philadelphia radio station that “one reason [black people are] never going to be successful as a whole is because of other black people.”
The Hall of Famer’s words came in reaction to reported criticisms of Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson from his teammates that he lacked credibility as an African American. The Super Bowl champion graduated from NC State in three years, tweets Biblical verses to his online followers, and hails from a successful family that includes a grandfather who served as a college president.
“There are a lot of black people who are unintelligent, who don’t have success,” Barkley maintained. “It’s best to knock a successful black person down because they’re intelligent. They speak well, they do well in school, and they’re successful.”
The words have sparked criticism on some African American websites. Dr. Boyce Watkins argued that Barkley signaled that he would engage in an “explicit or implicit promotion of the everlasting oasis of white supremacy” by prefacing his remarks with, “As I tell my white friends.” ThyBlackMan.com, incorporating Watkins’s argument, laments that Barkley “doesn’t say much of anything about the 400 years that white people spent oppressing us, stealing our wealth, murdering black children, and putting black people in prison.”
Charles Barkley charactertures black people after Seahawks player alledgedly called Russell Wilson ‘not black enough’ http://t.co/oFVEQkf7YD
— BW Greenleaf (@BWGREENLEAF) October 26, 2014
The Round Mound of Rebound lamented that African Americans, alone among ethnic groups, award credibility to their number who have served time in the prison system, which Barkley has for a drunk-driving offense. “When you’re black,” Barkley said on Afternoons with Anthony Gargano and Rob Ellis, “you have to deal with so much crap in your life from other black people. It’s a dirty dark secret. I’m glad it’s coming out.”
The Olympic gold medalist, never one to shy away from varied and controversial opinions on race, expressed his agreement with the George Zimmerman “not guilty” verdict last year, insists that “black people don’t play beer pong,” and maintained in the wake of the Adrian Peterson child abuse indictment that all black parents in the South use corporal punishment on their kids.
“One of the reasons we’re never going to be successful as a whole,” Barkley opined, is “because of other black people. And for some reason we are brainwashed to think, if you’re not a thug or an idiot, you’re not black enough. If you go to school, make good grades, speak intelligent, and don’t break the law, you’re not a good black person. And it’s a dirty, dark secret.”
Seahawks players deny the validity of the initial report that sparked numerous further controversies, such as the one in which Sir Charles finds himself embroiled. Richard Sherman reportedly joked that his quarterback should put more chocolate syrup in his milk. Wilson told reporters, “Black enough? I don’t even know what that means. I’m just an educated, well-spoken male.”
The Super Bowl-winning quarterback struggled on Sunday but managed to hit Luke Wilson on a late touchdown pass to lead the Seattle Seahawks to a come-from-behind road victory over the Carolina Panthers.