NBA Legend Charles Barkley: Jussie Smollett Screwed the ‘Real’ Victims

Hoops great unloaded on the 'Empire' actor, who's had all charges dropped against him in his alleged hate crime hoax

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NBA analyst and basketball legend Charles Barkley believes the real victims of the Jussie Smollett saga are people who have actually suffered hate crime attacks.

He also lamented the fact that the “Empire” actor put law enforcement in “a bad light.”

TMZ caught up with Sir Charles and asked him if he thought Smollett had “skated.”

“That’s an understatement,” Barkley quipped.

The hoops great then unloaded on Smollett, explaining that he isn’t a victim of anything — and that many other people will suffer now because of Smollett’s hoax crime.

Related: Smollett: All Charges Dropped

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“Well, I was disappointed because it put the police in a bad light,” Barkley told TMZ.

“Those are the losers, the real victims,” he continued.

“Anybody who’s gay who gets beat up — they’re the real losers. Or black who gets beat up — they’re the real losers.”

He’s quite right, the true victims in any faked or staged hate crime are always the people who are legitimately attacked.


Because law enforcement, the public, and those who might be able to help might look at their story with a wary eye.

Barkley mocks Smollett. Barkley went viral in February when his repeated mockery of Smollett during halftime coverage of a game had his co-host Shaquille O’Neal begging for mercy from all of the laughter.

“America, let me just tell you something,” Barkley joked. “Do not commit crimes with checks.”

The shot was a clear reference to the fact that Smollett allegedly paid two Nigerian actors to help him stage the fake ‘MAGA Country’ hate crime.

“If you’re gonna break the law, do not write a check,” Barkley continued.

“Get cash, man. I never use the ATM. Now, I heard you can only get $200 … Gonna make a lot of stops at the ATM … Do not write checks when you commit illegal activity.”

Bad situation. Early Thursday morning, President Donald Trump offered his own update on the Smollett case, claiming the FBI and DOJ are going to review what happened when prosecutors suddenly dismissed the 16 felony counts against him.

Trump called the situation “an embarrassment to our nation.”

Barkley said the whole sordid affair was a “disappointment,” though he opined that the actor should not have faced jail time.

“I don’t think he should have [gone] to jail,” he said. “But it is unfortunate. I think it’s a really bad situation for everybody involved.”

“There’s no winners. We’re all losers.”

This piece originally appeared in The Political Insider and is used by permission.

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