Basketball legend Charles Barkley has come to the defense of hundreds of gun-owning athletes. In response to NBC host Bob Costas’ recent remarks that “If Jovan Belcher didn’t possess a gun, he and Kassandra Perkins would both be alive today,” Barkley says that guns provide a “sense of peace” and that the issue’s focus should instead be the mistreatment of women.
In an interview with USA Today, the current TNT NBA commentator said, “Let’s not make this thing about guns. Let’s make this about mistreating women. That’s unacceptable.”
“There’s never a reason to hit a woman, touch a woman, or obviously kill a woman,” Barkley told USA Today.
“I hope people don’t (overemphasize) the gun situation. I’m very sensitive to domestic violence because I have a daughter (23-year-old Christiana), and that’s just one thing that I cannot accept in any shape or form whatsoever. It’s just a crazy situation.”
“I don’t get into the gun stuff. Some guys have guns who go hunting. Where do we stop (the gun control) at? I’m not a hunter, but we can’t say people can’t have guns,” Barkley said.
USA Today goes on to say Barkley will be appearing tonight in a pre-taped episode of Costas Tonight, an NBC Sports Network cable TV show, and that in the show he will also be defending athletes’ gun rights.
“On the show, Barkley says he’s ‘carried a gun in my car, every day of my life since I was 21 or 22 — never had to use it,’” reports USA Today.
“On Costas Tonight, Barkley addresses broader issues. He says, ‘Especially in the black culture, it’s a crime culture. We, as black people, and I always say ‘we’, we won’t have respect, we don’t have respect for each other. We have more black men in prison than we do in college, and crime in our neighborhoods is running rampant. I know everybody reacts when something like the Belcher thing happens. But being black, this is something you deal with all the time, and it’s just sad. I’m a guy and I carry a gun.’”
Barkley’s remarks come days after sports commentator Bob Costas publicly indicted the NFL’s allegedly pervasive “gun culture” this past weekend during Sunday Night Football citing an article by Fox Sports columnist Jason Whitlock which blamed the deaths of Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher and his girlfriend on Belcher’s possession of firearms.
After fierce backlash, Costas followed up his anti-gun rant days later by appearing on MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell where he unapologetically continued bashing the Second Amendment and virtually all gun-toting athletes.
In the interview, “Costas told O’Donnell that he was in favor of ‘more comprehensive gun control legislation’ and tried to argue the point by commenting that 65 out of 80 Colts players admitted to owning guns,” we reported yesterday.