Cindy Boren, THE WASHINGTON POST
(The Washington Post)—Charles Barkley stepped forward to explain the arrest of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, saying that “whippin’” is a Southern tradition.
Barkley on the NFL? Yep. TNT’s NBA analyst was part of a CBS round-table discussion on the Peterson and Ray Rice issues and he was, as usual, outspoken about the distinction between child abuse and child discipline.
“I’m from the South,” he said (via CBSSports.com). “I understand Boomer’s [Esiason] rage and anger … but he’s a white guy and I’m a black guy. I don’t know where he’s from, I’m from the south. Whipping — we do that all the time. Every black parent in the South is going to be in jail under those circumstances.”
Jim Rome countered that “it doesn’t matter where you’re from: Right is right and wrong is wrong” and Barkley replied: “I don’t believe that because, listen, we spank kids in the South. I think the question about whether Adrian Peterson went overboard — Listen, Jim, we all grow up in different environments. Every black parent in my neighborhood in the South would be in trouble or in jail under those circumstances.”
Peterson was charged with recklessly or negligently injuring a child in connection with allegedly leaving his child covered with welts and cuts on his legs, arms and genitals after striking him with a switch. “I think there’s a fine line. Jim, I’ve had many welts on my legs,” Barkley said. “I’ve gotten beat with switches — and I don’t even like the term. When the media talks about it, ‘beating a child’– we called it ‘spanking’ or ‘whipping’ our kids.”