Charles Barkley And Kenny Smith Talk About Race, Ferguson, Eric Garner

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Inside the NBA devoted the first ten minutes of their program Thursday night to Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith's disagreement on all things race, Ferguson, and Eric Garner. Earlier in the week Chuck went on CNN and various radio programs, playing his "contrarian just telling it like it is" role to a T. Kenny then wrote an open letter to his colleague, calling him out for ignoring centuries of systemic oppression, and essentially telling him to Stick To Sports™: "The body of work that our Black Civil Rights leaders put in by planning, executing and activating does not justify you being in the conversation."

To be completely honest, the conversation is awful. Chuck—who has nothing to say to America—doubles down on his previous statements, and argues that maybe slavery wasn't all that bad: "I don't know anything about it, other than what I read or what my grandma told me." Kenny doesn't really engage with Chuck's absurdities, and instead just repeats the thesis of his article. Shaq—who listed his special skills as "Laptop computer, binnochulars [sic], master of surveillance" on his Miami Beach police application—then busts in to tell us all about how his experience as a law enforcement officer informs his opinion on the issues, and that's when I assume the majority of viewers turned their televisions off.