JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Sports commentator Charles Barkley is creating waves after comments he made regarding the calls by some to defund the police.
“I hear these fools on TV talking about defund the police and things like that,” he said Thursday night during the Western Conference Finals. “We need police reform and prison reform and things like that, because you know who ain’t gonna defund the cops? White neighborhoods and rich neighborhoods.”
The comments come in light of a national conversation surrounding racial injustice in America. In these conversations, one idea presented is to “defund the police.”
Defunding ranges in scope from taking money from local police departments and investing the funds into the community to, in the case of Minneapolis, talks of dismantling the entire police force.
While, according to an op-ed by one ACLU public policy advisor, defunding the police would “actually make us safer,” Barkley remains unconvinced.
“That notion- they keep saying that, I’m like, ‘Wait a minute... who are Black people supposed to call? Ghostbusters? When we have crime in our neighborhoods?’ We need police reform.”
He continued, saying that white people, “especially rich white people,” are always going to have cops “so we need to stop that defund and abolish the cops crap.”
While some on Twitter praised the comments: “Charles Barkley is 100% correct. If only BLM enthusiasts could realize this we could actually push for progress.”
Others were critical of his presentation: “Legitimate issue presented in a VERY ineffective way. Please be quiet Charles Barkley and allow those who are informed to have a forum. PLEASE!”