NBA great Charles Barkley warned that there could be “repercussions” from Empire actor Jussie Smollett’s actions, and said “we all lose” from what happened in Chicago.
The Turner Sports basketball analyst told CBS’ Stephen Colbert that Smollett may think he has gotten off scot free, but the whole incident will still have costs, Fox News reported.
Barkley’s comments came only hours after Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx inexplicably dropped all 16 felony counts against Smollett and even noted that his records should be sealed, and his name cleared despite the grand jury findings and a months-long investigation into what the Chicago Police determined was a hoax hate crime.
“I think that we all lose,” Barkley continued. “I think my black friends, my gay black friends, I think they lose, because there’s all repercussions when you’re a minority. There’s always a double standard. You have to understand that and accept that. For every black, gay person out there, we lost — and it’s unfortunate.
“I don’t know that kid (Smollett), I wish him nothing but the best,” Barkley told Colbert. “But you have to understand, you have to always look at the big picture. Like, you know, there’s a lot of gay kids out there who are struggling. They’re getting beat up, they’re getting bullied, and things like that, and that’s not good.
“Then you see there’s this tenuous relationship between the black community and the cops, and we made the cops look really bad in this scenario, and there’s probably going to be some resentment,” Barkley concluded. “So, the bottom line is everybody lost in this scenario. It’s not good.”
Barkley treated the Smollett situation less seriously after news broke that the Chicago Police found that Smollett may have used a personal check to pay for the hate crime hoax.
Barkley had his co-workers rolling as he slammed Smollett during TNT’s half-time coverage of the Houston Rockets-Los Angeles Lakers game in February.
The former 76ers star began by joking, “Two black guys beating a black guy up… Just thinking out loud.
“America, let me just tell you something,” Barkley said addressing the camera. “Do not commit crimes with checks,” he quipped as his fellow commentators chuckled.
“Come on, man. If you’re gonna break the law, do not write a check. … Get cash, man!” Barkley said snickering.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.