Charles Barkley, outspoken NBA analyst and former basketball star, said he feels the verdict of the George Zimmerman trial was a fair one Thursday. Zimmerman was found not guilty Saturday of second-degree murder after killing African-American teenager Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla. Feb. 26, 2012.
Charles Barkley- despite the negative reaction of the African-American community and some media outlets to the verdict- said that because the evidence was the main reason for Zimmerman's acquittal, the outcome was justified.
"Well I agree with the verdict," Barkley said on CNBC. "I feel sorry that young kid got killed, but they didn't have enough evidence to charge him. Something clearly went wrong that night - clearly something went wrong - and I feel bad for anybody who loses a kid, but if you looked at the case and you don't make it - there was some racial profiling, no question about it - but something happened that changed the dynamic of that night."
The 50-year-old analyst admitted that Zimmerman did profile Martin, and that the profile led to Martin physically harming the self-proclaimed neighborhood watch captain.
"Mr. Zimmerman was wrong to pursue, he was racial profiling, but I think Trayvon Martin - God rest his soul - I think he did flip the switch and started beating the hell out of Mr. Zimmerman. But it was just a bad situation," he continued.
Some disagreed with Barkley's assessment. Michael Skolnik, editor-in-chief of GlobalGrind.com and political director to Russell Simmons, told Fox News that there was "absolutely no medical evidence that Trayvon was 'beating the hell out of Mr. Zimmerman,' as he received minor and insignificant injuries."
President Obama also pointed out the harm caused by racial profiling at a press conference Friday, highlighting that many in the African-American community see the incident through the lens of past injustices.
"Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago," President Obama told reporters in the White House briefing room. "It's important to recognize the African-American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and history that doesn't go away."
He did, however, note that dialogues on race, when discussed nationally through media, can "end up being stilted and politicized"- a perspective Barkley expressed as well.
"[Media] gives every white person and black person who's racist a platform to vent their ignorance," Barkley explained. "That's the thing that bothered me the most. … A lot of these people have a hidden agenda. They want to have their racist views, whether they are white or black … Their biases definitely come out. It was a bad situation. We all lost."