Charles Barkley Says He Uses N-Word, Matt Barnes Shouldn't Apologize For Racist Tweet [VIDEO]
on Nov 15, 2013 08:17 AM EST
Charles Barkley used his TNT NBA pregame show platform on Thursday night to delve into the issue of racist speech in the locker room and society at large.
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Sparked by the Wednesday night in-game scuffle between the L.A. Clippers Matt Barnes and Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka, which was followed by both their ejections and Barnes tweeting "I love my teammates, but I'm done standing up for these ni****," Barkley articulated "I'm a black man. I use the N-word. I will continue to use the N-word among my black friends and my white my friends."
Barnes has since apologized for both his words and his actions, but Barkley insists he shouldn't have, at least not in the case of what he had to say.
"What I do with my black friends is not up to white America to dictate to me," Barkley added during the TNT show. "The language we use in the locker room, sometimes it's sexist, sometimes it's homophobic, and a lot of times it's racist. We do that when we're joking with our teammates, and it's nothing personal."
He went on to relate the debate to the recent Paula Deen racism controversy and the current Miami Dolphins' bullying scandal involving Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito, before claiming that reporters "don't have the courage" to go into locker rooms.
A perennial All-Star, Barkley was also often viewed as a lightning-rod over the course of his 16-year-career, sparking widespread debate with such comments as "I'm not a role model, raise your own kids" and "I'm a 90s ni****... we do what we want to do."