The cable network TNT has won several Emmy awards for its Inside the NBA television program that features NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley, among other analysts, who have created an especially entertaining platform to discuss basketball.
Now, the network is hoping Barkley will be just as appealing to viewers in a new television series called “The Race Card” that will premier in early 2017.
“We as Americans never discuss the issue of race in this country and how it impacts everything in our lives until something bad happens,” Barkley said. “I see this project as a way to talk about race, class and cultural differences and challenge everyone’s status quo.”
In a press release about the new show, TNT said, “In “The Race Card,” Charles Barkley wants to bust up the echo chamber mentality that so often has people retreating to corners of the like-minded, where views are reinforced and ideas are distorted into angry, unexamined groupthink conclusions. Each week, Barkley will take on the rapidly calcifying positions around today’s hot-button topics. He will seek out the sharpest and most varied viewpoints from today’s cultural leaders and tastemakers. He will then challenge and probe those ideas, even trying them out on himself.”
Skeptics are already beginning to express their concerns with the idea of Barkley leading such an important topic during a time when America desperately needs to find solutions to its race problem.
Barkley has transformed from being one of the most hated players during his years in the NBA into a beloved television host for his humorous, raw and uncouth on-air comments.
However, in his public responses to some of the nation’s troubling racial issues, Barkley has left some fans scratching their heads.
After riots broke out in Ferguson, Missouri, Barkley called rioters “scumbags.” And in response to the recent shootings of African-American men by white police officers, he said black people “have to do better.”