Former basketball celebrity criticizes stars over their recent anti-Semitic outbursts: “I don’t understand how insulting another group helps our cause.”
By Paul Shindman, World Israel News
Former NBA allstar Charles Barkley lashed out over the weekend at black celebrities for their recent anti-Semitic comments in the media.
In a video posted on the NBAonTNT Twitter account, the former player for the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team slammed several African-American celebrities who have been widely reported in the press for anti-Semitic comments over the past few weeks.
“Y’all want racial equality. We all do. I don’t understand how insulting another group helps our cause,” Barkley said.
“And the only person who called y’all on it was Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar]. We can’t allow Black people to be prejudiced, also. Especially if we’re asking for white folks to respect us, give us economic opportunity and things like that.”
In his column last week in The Hollywood Reporter, Abdul-Jabbar wrote a stern warning that there was an alarming connection between hatred of Jews on social media and Black Lives Matter.
“Anti-Semitic tweets and posts from sports and entertainment celebrities are a very troubling omen for the future of the Black Lives Matter movement, but so too is the shocking lack of massive indignation,” said Abdul-Jabbar, the six-time NBA champion, adding he was shocked at the lack of response from people in Hollywood and the sports world who should have been highly aware of the hate comments and reacted as vociferously as they would other forms of racism.
“I’m so disappointed in these men. I don’t understand how you beat hatred with more hatred. That stuff should never come up in your vocabulary, and it should never come up in your heart. I don’t understand it. I’m never gonna accept it,” Barkley said.
“I’m asking you guys, I’m begging you guys, man, you guys are famous,” Barkley implored. “You’ve got a platform. We’ve gotta do better, man. I want allies. I don’t want to alienate anybody and to take shots at the Jewish race, the white race. I just don’t like it ’cause it’s not right and I had to call them on it ’cause it’s really – it’s really been on my heart.”
Former NBA player Stephen Jackson, who earlier this month defended anti-Semitic comments, praised known anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan and posted the old anti-Semitic trope that Jews control the banks, fired back at Barkley, telling him to “keep my name out of your mouth.”
“I know what I said,” Jackson said in an epithet-filled video he posted on Twitter. “However you feel I honestly don’t give a f***.”
“I’m out here with the real people, the people that’s really suffering, caring about my people,” Jackson said. “I’m gonna keep doin’ what I’m doin’.”
ESPN sports commentator Mike Wilbon, who is also black, said he knows Stephen Jackson personally and has worked with him before.
“He [Jackson] has no credibility now,” Wilbon said in interview on the ESPN show Pardon the Interruption.
“He has undermined his own previous good work with this garbage, and it’s garbage,” Wilburn said, adding he wished he could sit down with Jackson to get him to back off.
“I would tell him, ‘Stephen, stop. You’re wrong, you’re not speaking any truth,'” Wilburn said, adding Jackson had to go learn some history.
“This is insane. You [Jackson] are just ruining weeks of actually trying to appeal to people on one level and then bringing your own bigotry and prejudice in at time when no one can afford to say that,” Wilbon said, adding that he didn’t know if Jackson had anybody around him who could stop his rants.