Basketball superstar Charles Barkley called pushing for the removal of Confederate statues "wasted energy."
"I'm not going to waste my time screaming at a neo-Nazi who's gonna hate me no matter what," the NBA Hall of Famer told WRBC-TV in Birmingham, Alabama.
“I’m 54 years old,” Barkley said. “I’ve never thought about those statues a day in my life. I think if you ask most black people, to be honest, they ain’t thought a day in their life about those stupid statues.”
Barkley has not minced words when pointing out what he sees as his black community's problems, such as last year when he spoke about violence against cops.
“The cops have made some mistakes. Black people have made some mistakes,” Barkley said. “That don’t give us the right to riot and shoot cops. We need the cops, especially in the black community. We as black people, we’ve got to do better.”
The sports legend said the black community must worry about education, economic opportunity, and "stop killing each other."
“You know what I’m gonna do? I’m gonna keep doing great things,” Barkley concluded. “I’m gonna keep trying to make a difference — No. 1, in the black community, ’cause I’m black — but I’m also gonna try to do good things in the world.”