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