Charles Barkley once said, “[Those expletives] who are looting, those aren’t real black people, those are scumbags. Real black people, they’re not out there looting..” about the uprising in Ferguson when Michael Brown was shot and killed by police. As you know, Sir Charles never pulls any punches when it comes to giving his opinion on anything. He has his fair share of critics, including his TNT co-host and friend, Kenny Smith who took the time to write Chuck an open letter about his views on race relations.
Kenny said, “Lastly, you are the most entertaining person in sports television (partly because I throw you so many assists lol). However, what I consistently find interesting is how writers and media members view your insights in politics, and now race relations, with the same reverence as your insights in sports. They did it in the Trayvon Martin trial and now with Mike Brown and the decision in Ferguson. It’s not that you shouldn’t ever have an opinion, but you are often quoted alongside the likes of Al Sharpton and even President Obama. I would hope that Sharpton or President Obama would never be referenced with you when picking the next NBA Champs!”
What Kenny was basically saying is that the media looks to Charles to talk about race relations because they can expect him to say something that is news worthy because of it’s possible audaciousness. I guess the audacity of Charles Barkley has paid off.
It has been officially announced that Chuck will host a new TV show exploring “race, class and cultural differences” that will debut next year. The name of this show is called what other than, “The Race Card.”
TNT has ordered six hour-long episodes of the program to test out the show. According to TNT executives, “Barkley wants to bust up the echo chamber mentality that so often has people retreating to corners of the like-minded, where views are reinforced and ideas are distorted into angry, unexamined groupthink conclusions.”
Barkley offered this statement. “We as Americans never discuss the issue of race in this country and how it impacts everything in our lives until something bad happens. I see this project as a way to talk about race, class and cultural differences and challenge everyone’s status quo.”
Barkley has never been about status quo as he recently took some heat from many people in the Black community for his recent comments on the killings of Black men by cops. “We got to do better as black people,” Barkley recently said. “The cops have made some mistakes, but there’s a lot of blame to go around. But I’m not going to get on TV and yell like all these other idiots. I’m willing to sit down with anybody and have constructive criticism. I always tell myself as a black man: ‘Am I part of the problem or part of the solution?’ If I’m out doing illegal stuff, stupid stuff, I’m part of the problem. If I’m helping young black kids go to college like I’m trying to do, if I’m giving money to causes to help young men, I know I’m part of the solution.”
Barkley may be TNT’s solution to higher ratings after this one. Stay tuned because this could get interesting.