Dave Zirin of The Nation writes that he is always astounded by Charles Barkley. It’s not just that the NBA Hall of Famer-turned-announcer speaks without a filter. There is many a Howard Stern–Kathy Griffin–Jersey Shore–fungal spawn who do that on a nightly basis. It’s that Barkley actually has something to say.
On TNT’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day NBA Double Header,Barkley was in fantastic form when speaking about the legacy of the great civil rights leader. First TNT showed a clip of Dr. King’s daughter Rev. Bernice King, the current President of Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Unlike her mother, Coretta Scott King, and allies of her father like Bayard Rustin and Julian Bond, King stands in stark opposition to the LGBT community and the notion that they have a stake in “civil rights.” She even once led an anti-gay march to her father’s gravesite.
On TNT, Bernice King, in an otherwise boiler-plate soundbite, said that she felt a “responsibility to continue” her father’s legacy. When the camera swung back to the Round Mound of Rebound, he was ready. “His daughter said something that was very interesting,”Barkley said. “People try to make it about black and white. [But] he talked about equality for every man, every woman. We have a thing going on now, people discriminating against homosexuality in this country. I love the homosexuality people. God bless the gay people. They are great people.”
On Martin Luther King, Jr. day, Barkley also didn’t stop there. He said “We have discrimination against Hispanic people in this country and we need to answer to that.”
This echoed his comments last Cinco de Mayo, after the passage of Arizona’s SB 1070 law where he said,“Immigrants aren’t the problem. The only people screwing it up are the politicians. You know, living in Arizona for a long time, the Hispanic community, they’re like the fabric of the cloth. They’re part of our community and any time you try to do any type of racial profiling or racial discrimination is wrong.”
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