On Thursday’s “Closing Bell” on CNBC, former NBA and Auburn University basketball star Charles Barkley sounded off on the George Zimmerman trial verdict with what he called “not a very popular opinion.”
According to Barkley, the verdict was the proper one — but he took it further, criticizing the media for its coverage of racism evinced during the trial.
“I agreed with the verdict,” Barkley said. “I feel sorry that young kid got killed. But they didn’t have enough evidence to charge them. Something clearly went wrong that night. Clearly, something went wrong, and I feel bad for anyone losing a kid. But if you looked at the case and you don’t make it — there was racial profiling, no question about it. But something happened that changed the dynamic of that night. And I know — and that’s probably not a popular opinion among most people. But looking at the evidence, I agree with the verdict.”
“I just feel bad because I don’t like when race gets out in the media, because I don’t think media has a pure heart, as I call it,” he continued. “There are very few people have a pure heart when it comes to race. Racism is wrong in any, shape, form. There are a lot of black people are racist, too. I think sometimes when people talk about racism, they act like only white people are racist. There are a lot of black people who are racist. And I don’t like it when it gets out there in the media because I don’t think the media has clean hands … and like I say, I’m sorry that young kid got killed but just judging by the evidence, I don’t think that guy should have went to jail the rest of his life. But something happened bad that night, obviously.”
Barkley didn’t say Zimmerman wasn’t without fault, but he offered his theory that Martin was an aggressor in the incident.
“Mr. Zimmerman was wrong, too — he was racial profiling,” he said. “But I think Trayvon Martin, God rest his soul, I think he did flip the switch and start beating the hell out of Mr. Zimmerman. But it was just a bad situation. Like I say, the main thing, I feel bad, but it gives every white person and black person who is racist a platform to vent their ignorance. You know, that’s the thing that bothers me the most because I watched this trial closely. And I watch these people are television talking about it. A lot of these people have a hidden agenda. You know, they want their racist views, whether they are white or black … the bias — it definitely comes out. It was a bad situation. We all lost. And I feel bad for his parents. You don’t ever want to see anybody lose a kid.”