NBA analyst and retired basketball star Charles Barkley appeared on Jim Rome’s NFL Today Sunday to shoot the breeze, and to express some seriously misplaced sympathy for domestic abusers.
When Rome asked Barkley about the epidemic of domestic violence among NFL running backs — First with ex-Baltimore Raven Ray Rice beating his wife senseless, and now with the Minnesota Viking Adrian Peterson charged with brutally lacerating and beating his four-year-old son with a switch — Barkley first tried to put a positive spin on Rice’s troubles:
“The NFL obviously fumbled the entire Ray Rice situation, but we are bringing awareness to domestic abuse. That’s a good thing.”
Um, HELLO? The NFL did not just run a domestic violence awareness ad campaign. Instead, they responded to a shocking incident of abuse in a breathtakingly inappropriate manner.
Barkley goes on to say he hopes “some owner has the courage to give Ray Rice another chance.”
Yegads! And if you think that’s bad, wait till you hear what Barkley has to say about Peterson. Apparently, what Peterson did isn’t so bad because “every black parent in the south” beats their kids!
“I’m from the south. I understand Boomer’s (Esiason) rage and anger. He’s a white guy and I’m a black guy. I don’t know where he’s from, I’m from the South. Whipping — we do that all the time. Every black parent in the south is going to be in jail under those circumstances. We have to be careful letting people dictate how –“
Seriously? Every black parent in the south beats their kids? #EveryBlackParent?
Jim Rome flatly responded:
“It doesn’t matter where you’re from: Right is right and wrong is wrong.”
But, even though — as Rome pointed out — we live in 2014, not 1964 — Barkley still seems to think inflicting open wounds on a child with a switch is perfectly normal
Let’s remember that Peterson didn’t get arrested by swishy, vegan, liberal cops in some place like Berkeley, California where people are always going on about peace, love, and the rights of all sentient creatures.
Peterson got arrested by police in the deep, red southern state of TEXAS, where more children receive corporal punishment than in any other state — but where people still draw a line.
In any case, the American Psychiatric Association reports spanking and other forms of physical discipline are fading as parents, teachers, doctors, and others who work with children discover it does more harm than good.
Yet, unfortunately, many holdouts remain. TMZ Sports published photos with the switch marks across the child’s legs and buttocks: They are horrific. Peterson also struck at his son’s genitals. And the sad thing is, Peterson’s legal statement claims he did not know any better, because this was how he was raised.
I have to live with the fact that when I disciplined my son the way I was disciplined as a child, I caused an injury that I never intended or thought would happen. I know that many people disagree with the way I disciplined my child. I also understand after meeting with a psychologist that there are other alternative ways of disciplining a child that may be more appropriate.
The New York Daily News reports police charged Peterson with injury to a child — a felony — and released him on $15,000 bail.
He told cops he grabbed a switch — a thin tree branch — and struck his child at least 10 times in May. Photos that have since emerged show the boy’s legs and buttocks covered in bloody cuts, welts and bruises.
We wish Barkley felt as much compassion for Rice’s wife Janay Palmer, for Peterson’s little boy, and for all the men, women and children living with domestic abusers as he feels for his poor, maligned NFL running backs. But Barkley’s reaction indicates domestic violence is far more pervasive in our society than we think: NBC News recently reported that a shocking one out of five men hit their wives or girlfriends.
Barkley still thinks athletes aren’t role models.
Back in 1993, Barkley ticked a lot of people off — including this writer — when he claimed athletes shouldn’t have to be role models. He even got paid beaucoup bucks to say “I am not a role model. I’m not paid to be a role model” in a Nike commercial. Then again, that was only shortly after the 1980’s, when the likes of Ronald Reagan, Ayn Rand, and Gordon Gekko convinced Americans that it’s okay to be a selfish jerk.
Alas, Barkley has not improved with age.
Because guess what, Charles Barkley? Whether you like it or not, athletes are role models and get paid handsomely for it. Given how much money these guys — and the big athletic stars are still mostly guys — make from all those fans who worship them, and all those kids who want to be like them, they seriously need to man up and start taking that “role model” thing more seriously.
Here’s the video with Barkley’s pre-game interview with Rome and his inexcusable defense of Rice and Peterson.
h/t Addicting Info.