Charles Barkley, who could play as rough and dirty as anyone in the NBA, consistently said "I am not a role model." He earned a reputation as a man who didn't just talk-the-talk but walked-the-walk.
Consequently, Barkley has become a voice in the Black community that has credibility with young men, whether he intends to be a role model or not.
Barkley says that when Michael Brown was killed, he too was angry hearing "witnesses" describing the shooting as police brutality. But after reading the grand jury transcripts, he said "The true story came out." Not only did he understand and believe the grand jury decision to be correct, but he called the Ferguson looters and rioters "scumbags" for stealing from and burning honest businesses.
Barkley says he no longer trusts anything he hears on TV and doesn't like to discuss race issues with the media because "they love this stuff, and lead people to jump to conclusions. They never do that when black people kill each other."
He went on to defend all police, comparing living in some Black neighborhoods to, without police protection, living in the Wild West. "Do you know how bad some of these neighborhoods would be if it wasn't for the cops?"
Real - responsible - Black leaders are beginning to speak out. Most of the liberal media have an agenda - and it isn't to bring harmony between the races.
Mothers and fathers in areas like Chicago and Detroit suffer as their children die by the dozens, and not from police bullets. Those parents realize their children are in danger, not from police, but other Blacks.
Meanwhile, the media canonize thugs such as Michael Brown.
He may not want to be a role model and he'll suffer abuse for speaking out, but Charles is my new hero.