Two former U.S. Olympians are clashing over the situation in Ferguson, Mo.
Former NBA star and current basketball analyst Charles Barkley recently ruffled feathers by referring to the Ferguson looters and rioters as “scumbags” while also criticizing the actions of some black communities. John Carlos, a former track and field athlete well-known for his iconic black power salute at the 1968 Olympics, disagrees with Barkley’s stance.
“He’s just looking for political votes down the line,” Carlos told the New York Daily News. “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.”
Barkley recently expressed support for the grand jury’s decision not to indict former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, who fatally shot an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, in August. He later defended his stance during an interview with CNN.
Carlos sees things in a different light, as he wants prominent black figures to speak out against racial inequality. Carlos, unlike Barkley, praised the five St. Louis Rams players who used a “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” gesture before their game Sunday against the Oakland Raiders.
“Not just athletes,” Carlos said. “Puff Daddy, Snoop (Dogg), we haven’t heard much from those individuals or our black movie stars out there. They chose to take the back seat. How many millions of dollars do you have to have in your bank account before you speak your mind?”
Photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images
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