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Charles Barkley’s Colleague Kenny Smith Fires Back at Ferguson ‘Scumbags’ Remark in Open Letter

Kenny ”The Jet“ Smith, who is Charles Barkley’s NBA on TNT colleague, disagrees with Barkley’s take on Ferguson protestors

Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith are usually on the same team as NBA on TNT studio analysts. But when it comes to the violent protests in Ferguson, Smith is making sure Barkley’s shot at protesters doesn’t go undefended.

“Those aren’t black people, those are scumbags,” the NBA Hall of Famer and TNT basketball analyst said about Ferguson rioters on a radio program last week following the non-indictment of Darren Wilson. Barkley also defended the grand jury decision to not indict Wilson.

The true story came out from the grand jury testimony,” Barkley said. “Three or four witnesses, who were black, said exactly what the cop said.”

Well, his TNT colleague, Kenny Smith, didn’t take kindly to Barkley’s scumbag comment.

In a USA Today Sports piece, Smith takes on Barkley’s “scumbag” comments:

That leads me to the looters and civilians burning buildings which you referred to as “scumbags”.  Here’s an analogy: If you put 100 people on an island with no food, no water, no hope of a ship coming, then some will overcome it and be resourceful, some will live in it, others will panic and others will show horrific character, which is wrong. But not to understand that all alternatives are possible is wrong as well.

I was also disheartened to see the reaction of burning buildings and looters by some. However, when you are in “The Struggle” to not expect that that potential reaction is foolish on our part.

The real issue is learning to positively manage your anger so you can be heard.  It’s not that they are “scumbags”, their emotions won’t allow them to rationally think through their anger. I applaud that you have done a great job in your anger management in recent times … but not always.

Smith concluded his letter to Barkley acknowledging we have great police officers, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t major questions that need to be asked surrounding the Michael Brown/Darren Wilson case.

“And you were right Chuck, let’s not discredit that there are great police officers in all neighborhoods, but let’s not credit that we shouldn’t have doubt.”