Charles Barkley isn’t afraid to challenge the mainstream narrative that pits black against white, and he is speaking the truth once again this week. During an interview with Dan Patrick on NBC Sports, Charles slammed ESPN for turning this year’s Super Bowl, which pits quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Cam Newton against each other, into a race issue.
Barkley told host Dan Patrick that he feels ESPN is “framing the narrative” of Super Bowl 50 into “black versus white, good versus evil” since the matchup’s starting quarterbacks are Peyton Manning and Cam Newton.
“ESPN has already started their crap about black versus white, good versus evil and I know a lot of those fools over there got radio talk shows,” he said. “It really annoys the hell out of me. We really just can’t appreciate the greatness of Peyton [Manning]. And clearly, Cam is on the track to become one of the greatest players ever. You can already see them framing the narrative ‘black versus white, good versus evil.’”
Way to go, Charles! Can’t we give this race war narrative a rest? At least for something as entertaining and universally loved as the Super Bowl? Cam Newton and Peyton Manning have enough compelling narratives about each of their careers and accomplishments without bringing race into the equation. They’re at different points in their careers. They have different styles of play. They’ve had very different seasons. This could be the first Super Bowl of many for one and the last Super Bowl of many for the other.
Let’s give up the lazy talking points about race and truly appreciate what’s happening in Super Bowl 50. Keep preachin’, Charles!