Former Olympian John Carlos Shows Charles Barkley The Fist
So we're not sure who exactly has the high ground in this Ferguson debate, and opinions vary on the wisdom of five St. Louis Rams players who gave the "Hands up, don't shoot" raised arms gesture before their game with the Raiders on Sunday.
Charles Barkley went on Philadelphia radio on Monday and gave his opinions, which consisted mostly of praising the police, agreeing with the Ferguson grand jury decision and calling rioters "scumbags".
But, noted Fox News' Bob Beckel, when was the last time Charles Barkley was in a poor neighborhood? His life is pretty good right now, comfortable within the media establishment and not sweating any sort of police brutality.
Olympic icon John Carlos takes issue with Barkley's comments in the strongest way. Carlos, of course, was the 200 meters bronze medalist in the 1968 Olympic Games who gave the black power salute along with Tommie Smith on the medal stand. He paid a huge price for that, eventually winding up broke and clinically depressed before fighting his way back and straightening out his life.
Carlos, in an interview with the New York Daily News, ripped Barkley for his comments.
He’s just looking for political votes down the line,” Carlos said, in a telephone interview. “If you don’t have anything good to say, you should keep your mouth shut. I don’t know where Mr. Barkley gets his reports. He’s a basketball commentator. It’s not like he’s in the legal field. He shouldn’t be saying derogatory things.”
He has repeatedly praised Muhammad Ali while condemning Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and black rap stars for their lack of political gumption.
Carlos praised the five Rams' players for their actions on Sunday.
“I think it’s changing right before our eyes,” Carlos said. “These men are giving voice to the voiceless. They’re doing the right thing and taking a stance. So many others might feel that way. I’m just pleased to see some more Peter Normans out there.”
Norman was the white Australian silver medalist in 1968 who stood on the same podium with Smith and Carlos, who supported them and was reprimanded by his own Olympic federation, then prevented by his own country from participating in the 1972 Summer Games.
Barkley has had several notorious run-ins with law enforcement, which make his comments about looters being "scumbags" rather ironic. He's right about one thing, however -- he is not a role model. But for many Americans, John Carlos is.
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