Charles Barkley on paying college athletes and race relations in sports and America


Charles Barkley joined the show to talk about Johnny Manziel and some of the other big stories around sports.

“The only problem I have with Johnny Manziel is [that] he has to cover himself a little better,” Barkley said. “He signed all that for $7,500. Who represented him, Bernard Madoff?”

Barkley also had an issue with Manziel being sloppy. “He’s go to be smarter,” Barkley said. “He can’t let them take pictures.”

Barkley said that it’s impossible to pay college athletes because there are too many of them to pay. Barkley admitted he took money from agents when he was in college. He said he’s OK with that, because it will help kids who are in college stay there, like most kids should.

Barkley also shared his thoughts on Riley Cooper. Barkley compared it to playing with gay players. He said the attitude was “your gay but you’re our guy.” Barkley said that teammates have the “you’re our guy” mentality toward Cooper. Barkley said that he’s a dog-lover, but he’d forgive Michael Vick for what he did because he’s a teammate.

Barkley said that what happened was typical of a fight. People want to hurt other people when there’s an altercation. “You say you’re going to kill them,” Barkley said. “You don’t really want to kill them.  …. When you get into an altercation, you just really want to hurt somebody.”

Barkley thinks sports is great for racial relations.  “When you play on a team, the racial stuff goes out the door,” Barkley said. “That’s one of the cool things about sports.”

Barkley also explained why he was OK with the outcome of the George Zimmerman trial. He said Zimmerman was stupid and not right, but the jury likely had the right verdict on that charge. Barkley said that 95 percent of black people who are killed are killed by other black people, and that’s the problem that should be addressed.