Charles Barkley had jokes on the Jussie Smollett situation during a segment on TNT Thursday night.
During halftime of the Los Angeles Lakers-Houston Rockets game, the TNT crew was talking about some of their more ridiculous predictions that had no chance of happening. That’s when Barkley went off-script and said “two black guys beating a black guy up,” — a reference to the Smollett matter.
The remark drew nervous laughter from his co-hosts and off-camera staffers. “Just thinking out loud,” Barkley added.
Charles Barkley has some advice for America & Jussie Smollett pic.twitter.com/3JaW9FlHM9
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) February 22, 2019
Later, Barkley alluded to reports that Smollett had allegedly written a $3,500 check to pay for two men to attack him.
“America, let me just tell you something,” Barkley said. “Do not commit crimes with checks. If you’re gonna break the law, do not write a check. … Get cash, man. I never use the ATM. Now, I heard you can only get 200 dollars … Gonna make a lot of stops at the ATM. … Do not write checks when you commit illegal activity.”
Smollett’s case, which has received national attention, took a major turn Thursday.
Chicago police charged Smollett with filing a false police report after they investigated his claim that two men wearing “Make America Great Again” hats assaulted him and put a rope around his neck in a racially motivated attack. Prosecutors now allege Smollett staged the attack with the help of two friends, whom he paid $3,500 by check, in a ploy to pressure the producers of the Fox series “Empire” into giving him a raise. Smollett, a member of the show’s cast, has denied those allegations.
Barkley has every right to state his opinion. Expect to see many others to do the same thing with their platform, in the coming days.