Outspoken NBA Hall of Famer, Charles Barkley joined Maria Baritromo on CNBC’s Closing Bell yesterday and briefly discussed the verdict of the Zimmerman trial, the media’s “hidden agenda” and racism. The conversation remained short, sweet and to the point, with opinions that some may find controversial.
MARIA BARTIROMO, HOST: Any thoughts on the George Zimmerman verdict?
CHARLES BARKLEY: Well, I agree with the verdict.
BARTIROMO: You did?
BARKLEY: 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 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. And I know, and that’s probably not a popular opinion among most people, but just 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 the media has a pure heart, as I call it. 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 who 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 when it gets out there in the media because I don’t think the media has clean hands.
BARTIROMO: I think you’re right. I’m glad you made that point.
BARKLEY: I don’t think the media has clean hands. And, like I say, I feel sorry that young kid got killed, but judging by the evidence, I don’t think that guy should have went to jail for the rest of his life, because something happened bad that night obviously.
BARTIROMO: Yeah, I liked what one of the jurors said. She said they both should have walked away.
BARTIROMO: And if there’s a shadow of a doubt, there’s a shadow of a doubt.
BARKLEY: And let me say, Mr. Zimmerman was wrong too, he was racial profiling.
BARKLEY: What 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. And like I said, the main thing I feel bad for, it gives every white person and black person who is racist a platform to vent their ignorance.
BARKLEY: You know, that’s the thing that bothered me the most because I watched this trial closely, and I watched all these people on television talking about it. A lot of these people have a hidden agenda. You know, they want to have their racist views, whether they are white or black,
BARTIROMO: The bias comes out.
BARKLEY: 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.
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