ESPN analyst and former NBA star Charles Barkley has been just one of many in the sports community to speak up on the issues plaguing America. When it comes to racism, police brutality, and social injustice, Barkley has not been shy in demonstrating his support for the oppressed.
But when it comes to the chatter about defunding or abolishing the police, that's where things go a little too far for him. While he agrees with reform and that something needs to change about the American policing system, he bravely showed his support for law enforcement by arguing against the notion of defunding them.
“We need the cops, most of the cops do a fantastic job, but instead of defunding and all this other stuff, let’s just do police reform. Everybody should be on board for that whether you’re a Democrat, Republican, conservative or liberal,” Barkley said Tuesday on CNN.
Barkley flamed the powers that be for not doing enough to change the status quo.
“The Democrats and the Republicans can’t even talk about police reform,” he said. “That’s the number one thing they should do before they do anything else.”
No matter who you are or where your allegiances lie, Barkley is right in one thing: something needs to change. There needs to be a system that holds the law enforcement system accountable and ensures they are able to respond without resorting to violence.
Defunding the police is one way to go, but it doesn't mean it's the only way or even the best way. A lot of officers are good people, who risk their lives every day to ensure the safety of their neighbors. Without them, things could get pretty bad.
So, while Barkley is all about change, it's got to be the right kind and for the right reasons.