Charles Barkley defended Adrian Peterson and expressed hope that Ray Rice gets another chance to play in the NFL during a Sunday interview with Jim Rome on the CBS pregame show The NFL Today.
After expressing optimism that the “tragic mistake” made by Ray Rice will help raise awareness of domestic violence, the outspoken NBA Hall of Famer was asked about the indictment of Peterson. Barkley said he understands the anger toward the Minnesota Vikings running back but said “every black parent in the south is going to be in jail” under the circumstances that led to Peterson’s indictment on child abuse charges.
Though Rome vehemently disagreed, the three-minute segment was a much-needed, respectful discussion between parties with opposing viewpoints.
Jim Rome: “Can you hit a child?”
Charles Barkley: “I’m from the south. I understand Boomer’s (Esiason) rage and anger. He’s a white guy and I’m a black guy. I don’t know where he’s from, I’m from the South. Whipping — we do that all the time. Every black parent in the south is going to be in jail under those circumstances. We have to be careful letting people dictate how –“
Charles Barkley: “I don’t believe that because, listen, we spank kids in the south. I think the question about did Adrian Peterson go overboard — Listen, Jim, we all grow up in different environments. Every black parent in my neighborhood in the South would be in trouble or in jail under those circumstances.”