Charles Barkley backs police, calls violent Ferguson protestors 'scumbags'

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Charles Barkley backs police, calls violent Ferguson protestors 'scumbags'
Former Philadelphia 76er Charles Barkley talks to fans before the 76ers' NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs on Monday Jan. 21, 2013, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo H. Rumph Jr)
CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 30: Kevin Hart (C) introduces Kendrick Lamar with Kristen Ledlow and Charles Barkley during the Cleveland Cavaliers & Turner Sports Home Opener Fan Fest on October 30, 2014 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Angelo Merendino/Getty Images)
A police car is set on fire after a group of protesters vandalize the vehicle after the announcement of the grand jury decision Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. A grand jury has decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed, black 18-year-old whose fatal shooting sparked sometimes violent protests. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 30: TNT commentators Reggie Miller, Charles Barkley, and Marv Albert speak before a game between the New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers on October 30, 2014 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2012 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0149 -- Pictured: (l-r) Charles Barkley during an interview with host Jimmy Fallon on October 27, 2014 -- (Photo by: Douglas Gorenstein/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
People walk away from a storage facility on fire after the announcement of the grand jury decision Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. A grand jury has decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed, black 18-year-old whose fatal shooting sparked sometimes violent protests. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
FERGUSON, MO - NOVEMBER 25: Prime Beauty lays in a smoking pile of rubble after it was set fire the prior night when riots erupted after the Grand Jury decided not to indict white Police Officer Daren Wilson in the shooting death of black 18-year old Michael Brown in Ferguson, on November 25, 2014. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Nov. 15, 2006 - K8156JW.CHARLES BARKLEY.1992. JERRY WACHTER- PHOTOS(Credit Image: © Globe Photos/ZUMAPRESS.com)
Philadelphia 76ers' Charles Barkley, left, guards Karl Malone of the Utah Jazz in the first half of their NBA game in Philadelphia, Feb. 6, 1990. At rear is Sixer Ron Anderson. The 76ers won their 12th straight game, 114-89. (AP Photo/George Widman)
FERGUSON, MISSOURI - NOVEMBER 25: On West Florissant road businesses have been looted and set on fire by the protesters after having the news that the St. Louis County grand jury has decided to not indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of Michael Brown. November 25, 2014. (Photo by Sebastiano Tomada/Getty Images)
Dellwood, Mo., USA. 24th Nov, 2014. Cars burn at the Auto Buy Credit dealership at 10250 W. Florissant in Dellwood, Mo., on Monday, Nov. 24, 2014. Protesters took to the streets, erupting in mass looting and confrontation with riot police throughout the night, after a grand jury did not indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. © Laurie Skrivan/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/TNS/Alamy Live News
Philadelphia 76ers' Charles Barkley is seen, 1984. (AP Photo)
FILE--Phoenix Suns' Charles Barkley chats with Chicago Bulls' Michael Jordan during the closing moments of Game 5 in the NBA Finals at the Chicago Stadium in this June 18, 1993, file photo. If Michael Jordan returns to the NBA, he'll almost certainly have Charles Barkley with him. Working as a broadcaster on the NBA playoffs for Turner Sports, Barkley sounded excited Tuesday, April 24, 2001 by the prospect of a joint comeback with Jordan. Barkley said he would return to the court if he could getback in shape _ and had some company.(AP Photo/John Swart, File)
Phoenix Suns forward Charles Barkley reacts after a missed Houston Rockets free throw during the third quarter, Sunday, May 14, 1995, Houston, Tex. Barkley finished with 26 points as the Suns upped their series lead to 3-1 with a 114-110 victory. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
A man leaves a looted T-Mobile store in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, a day after the announcement that a grand jury decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown. Protesters briefly shut down two major freeways, vandalized police cars and looted businesses in downtown Oakland, smashing windows at cell phone stores, car dealerships, restaurants and convenience stores on a second night of protests. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
People run from tear gas after police dispersed a crowd Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014, as they staged a protest for Michael Brown, who was killed by a police officer last Saturday in Ferguson, Mo. As night fell Sunday in Ferguson, another peaceful protest quickly deteriorated after marchers pushed toward one end of a street. Police attempted to push them back by firing tear gas and shouting over a bullhorn that the protest was no longer peaceful. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Charles Barkley celebrates during the first quarter of his regular season debut as a Houston Rocket Saturday, Nov. 2, 1996 against the Phoenix Suns in their home opener in Phoenix, Ariz.(AP Photo/Eric Drotter)
In this Aug. 17, 2014 photo, people defy a curfew Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014, before tear gas was fired to disperse a crowd protesting the shooting of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. Details may differ, circumstances of their deaths may remain unknown, but the outrage that erupted after the Aug. 9 fatal shooting of the unarmed, black 18-year-old by a white officer in Ferguson, Missouri, has become a rallying cry in protests over police killings across the nation. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
In this aerial photo fires smolder Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014 along a closed stretch of street near the August shooting of an unarmed 18-year-old black man by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo., Overnight protests following a grand jury's decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the killing of Michael Brown were far more destructive than any of those that followed Brown's Aug. 9 death, with more than a dozen businesses badly damaged or destroyed. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
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By RYAN GORMAN

NBA great Charles Barkley called rioting Ferguson protestors "scumbags" last week and pleaded with African Americans to stop seeing police as the enemy during a radio interview.

The former Philadelphia 76ers and Phoenix Suns star told a Philly sports talk show that the Ferguson grand jury made the right decision but also bashed the rioters looting and burning the town to the ground.

"Those aren't black people, those are scumbags," the NBA Hall of Famer griped to WPEN.

"There is no excuse for people to be out there burning down people's businesses, burning down police cars."

Many of the businesses destroyed are minority-owned, according to reports. Ferguson's population is also predominantly black.

Barkley, who has also been named to the NBA's "50 Greatest Players of All-Time," further ripped the protestors railing against the St. Louis County grand jury's decision to not indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for shooting unarmed black teen Michael Brown dead back on August 9.

"The true story came out from the grand jury testimony," the former Houston Rockets player said. "Three or four witnesses, who were black, said exactly what the cop said."

The power forward also took issue with blacks shouting "f**k the police" every time they see cops.

"We have to be really careful with the cops, because if it wasn't for the cops we would be living in the Wild, Wild West in our neighborhoods," he said. "We can't pick out certain incidents that don't go our way and act like the cops are all bad.

"Do you know how bad some of these neighborhoods would be if it wasn't for the cops?"

The "round mound of rebound" was not finished there, he also hurled a few shots at the press, blaming media for rumors and misinformation spreading during the grand jury proceedings and riots.

"They love this stuff, and lead people to jump to conclusions," said Barkley, himself currently a TNT studio analyst. "The media shouldn't do that. They never do that when black people kill each other."

Barkley, as is often the case, is swimming against a tide of other athletes when it comes to the Ferguson issue.

The former college star at Auburn famously agreed with the George Zimmerman verdict as well.

"I think Mr. Zimmerman was racially profiling Trayvon Martin," Barkley told CNN. "He was wrong in that. I think he was over-aggressive.

"But I think at some point, they switched places and Mr. Martin was aggressive."

Five players for the St. Louis Rams drew police condemnation after they entered Sunday's game flashing the "hands up, don't shoot" pose used by protestors around the country.

Related links:
Rams players' 'hands up, don't shoot' protest draws the ire of police with a questionable past
Rams, police differ on Ferguson protest apology
Rams: Players will not be disciplined for gesture
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