Charles Barkley On ‘Unintelligent Black People’ Comment: ‘I Stick By What I Said’

Charles Barkley will be the first to admit that he isn’t Twitter-savvy, but he was well aware that his recent response to criticism about Seattle Seahawk Russell Wilson “not being black enough” had timelines lit.

Chuck appeared on Philadelphia radio show Afternoons with Anthony Gargano and Rob Ellis and addressed a report claiming that Wilson’s teammates didn’t think the quarterback was black enough. “There are a lot of black people who are unintelligent, who don’t have success––it’s best to knock a successful black person down ’cause they’re intelligent, they speak well, they do well in school, and they’re successful,” Barkley said on-air.

During a press luncheon on Monday (Oct. 27), promoting TNT’s Inside The NBA show, where Barkley serves as analyst alongside Ernie Johnson, Kenny “The Jet” Smith and Shaquille O’Neal, he said he’s sticking to his comments.

“One of the reasons why we as black people aren’t successful is because of other black people. There’s a stigma that when you’re doing well in school, you’re “acting white,” or when you speak correct, you’re “acting white,” that’s bullshit,” he told VIBE. “You’re supposed to speak intelligent, you’re supposed to do well in school, and when blacks denigrate other blacks who are doing well, that’s part of the problem.”

Sir Charles also defended Wilson, saying, “Just because Russell Wilson is not a gangbanger, not a thug, that doesn’t mean he’s not black enough. He doesn’t go to clubs but that doesn’t make him not black.”

The Basketball Hall of Fame inductee also stressed that his words were not race-specific. “I’m learning my Hispanic friends went through the exact same thing. A Native American friend of mine went through the same thing. When he went away to college, [people said] ‘Oh you don’t want to be part of the tribe anymore.'”

Like his fiery presence on the hardwood (see: his 1992 Olympics game against Angola), Barkley’s POV pushes limits and it’s more than likely he won’t back down. —Adelle Platon (@adelleplaton)