Outspoken basketball commentator Charles Barkley again has weighed in on the Jussie Smollett case, telling CBS’ Stephen Colbert on Wednesday “we all lose” in the abrupt decision by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office to drop all charges against the “Empire” actor.
Barkley, an NBA analyst for Turner Sports who is doubling as a studio commentator for NCAA coverage on CBS and TBS, last month amused colleagues on TNT’s “Inside the NBA” with his puzzlement over how Smollett was accused of compensating co-conspirators in the hate crime he was charged with orchestrating against himself.
“America, let me just tell you something: Do not commit crimes with checks,” Barkley said on Feb. 21. “Come on, man. If you’re going to break the law, do not write a check. … Get cash, man! America, do not write checks when you’re committing illegal activities.”
On “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” Barkley was asked about the latest development in the Smollett case.
Initially advanced as an assault on the actor because of his race and sexual orientation, Smollett wound up charged for having staged the encounter to generate publicity and sympathy. Then this week, unexpectedly, the prosecution decided not to proceed with its case.
Barkley’s response was far more serious and measured this time.
“I think that we all lose,” Barkley said. “I think my black friends, my gay black friends, I think they lose, because there’s all repercussions when you’re a minority. There’s always a double standard. You have to understand that and accept that. For every black, gay person out there, we lost — and it’s unfortunate.
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: Chicago Tribune, Phil Rosenthal