Charles Barkley says he agrees with George Zimmerman verdict


barkley-2Outspoken former NBA superstar Charles Barkley said he agrees with the verdict in the murder trial of George Zimmerman, but blasted the media for giving platforms to racists to “vent” their ignorance, Fox News reported.

50-year old Barkley gave his assessment on the high-profile Florida murder trial to CNBC on Thursday, saying jurors simply did not have enough evidence to convict the former neighborhood watch volunteer in the 2012 killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

“Well I agree with the verdict,” Barkley said. “I feel sorry that young kid got killed, but they didn’t have enough evidence to charge him. Something clearly went wrong that night – clearly something went wrong – and I feel bad for anybody who loses a kid, but if you looked at the case and you don’t make it – there was some racial profiling, no question about it – but something happened that changed the dynamic of that night.”

Barkley recognized his take is “probably not a popular opinion among most people,” but said the evidence pointed to an acquittal.

“I just feel bad because I don’t like when race gets out in the media ‘cuz I don’t think the media has a ‘pure heart,’ as I call it,” Barkley continued.

“There are very few people who have a pure heart when it comes to race. Racism is wrong in any shape [or] form – there are a lot of black people who are racist, too. I think sometimes when people talk about race, they act like only white people are racist. There are a lot of black people who are racist. And I don’t like when it gets out there in the media because I don’t think the media has clean hands.”

“Like I said, I feel sorry that young kid got killed, but just judging by the evidence, I don’t think that guy should’ve went to jail for the rest of his life,” Barkley continued. “Mr. Zimmerman was wrong to pursue, he was racial profiling, but I think Trayvon Martin – God rest his soul – I think he did flip the switch and started beating the hell out of Mr. Zimmerman. But it was just a bad situation.”

Barkley then took aim at unnamed media personalities who allegedly allowed their own biases to show throughout coverage of the murder trial.

“The main thing I feel bad for is it gives every white person and black person who’s racist a platform to vent their ignorance,” he said. “That’s the thing that bothered me the most. I watched this trial closely and I watched these people on television talking about it. A lot of these people have a hidden agenda. They want to have their racist views, whether they are white or black … Their biases definitely come out. It was a bad situation. We all lost.”

Barkley, originally of Alabama, was named one of the NBA’s all-time 50 greatest players in 1993, the same year he won the league’s Most Valuable Player award.

The 11-time All-Star retired after the 1999-2000 season and then began a successful career as a basketball analyst for Turner Network Television. He has also flirted with the idea of entering politics, announcing in 2008 that he intended to run for governor of Alabama before later changing his mind.

Barkley was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame in 2006. He competed in the 1992 and 1996 Olympic games and won two gold medals as a member of the United States men’s basketball team.

A prolific scorer, Barkley holds career averages of 22.1 ppg and 11.7 rpg in 36.7 minutes on the court.

He led the league in offensive rebounds for 3 consecutive seasons, and holds a personal record of 14.6 rebounds per game achieved in 1986-1987 season.

Scoring wise, Barkley never in his career averaged below 14 points per game, reaching a career-high 28.3 ppg for Philadelphia during 87-88 season. Barkley played in 1073 NBA games, starting in 1012 of them.

Barkley was one of the NBA’s most versatile players and accurate scorers capable of scoring from anywhere on the court and established himself as one of the NBA’s top power forwards of all time. Some say he was the best.

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