Charles Barkley Defends Adrian Peterson: ‘We Spank Kids in the South’ [VIDEO]

NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley defended Adrian Peterson’s aggressive use of corporal punishment on The NFL Today, a football pre-game show on CBS. Barkley also told broadcaster Jim Rome that he hopes Ray Rice — who struck his finance in an elevator, knocking her out — gets another chance to play professional football.


“We spank kids in the south,” Barkley said, defending Peterson on the Sunday afternoon program. “The question about Adrian Peterson goes overboard. Listen, Jim, we all grow up in different environments."

Asked directly by Rome if it was alright to hit a child, Barkley replied, implying that it’s a cultural issue.

“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,” said Barkley.

Rome respectfully disagreed, saying “right is right; wrong is wrong.”

“I don’t want to tell anybody how to raise their kids and I really don’t want anybody telling me how to raise my kids,” said Rome. “But let’s make a distinction between child rearing and child abuse. That was child abuse. There’s no fine line here.”

“I think there’s a fine line. Jim, I’ve had many welts on my legs,” said Barkley.

Barkley was not so quick to defend the Baltimore Ravens' Ray Rice. "Listen, you can't hit a woman," he said.

On ESPN’s rival program, Sunday NFL Countdown, Hall of Fame wide receiver Chris Carter — choked up by the issue — said that there are no excuses for Adrian Peterson’s behavior, even relating his own personal childhood experiences.

“My mom did the best that she could do,” said Carter. “But there are thousands of things that I have learned since then that my mom was wrong.”

Carter indicated that his mother had a hard time raising seven children by herself, but said that corporal punishment, as he received it, is a thing of the past.

“I promise my kids I won’t teach that mess to them,” said Carter. “You can’t beat a kid to make them do what you want them to do.”

“The only thing I’m proud about is the team that I played for they did the right thing. Take them off the field!” a very emotional Carter said of the Minnesota Vikings, the team he played 12 years for. Peterson, one of the biggest stars in the NFL, has played seven seasons for Minnesota, which deactivated him earlier this week.

Watch Barkley's interview with Rome below: 

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"587579","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","typeof":"foaf:Image"}}]]

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close