July 19th, 2013
06:18 PM ET

Charles Barkley: On the evidence alone, I think the [Zimmerman] verdict was fair

President Barack Obama made a surprise appearance in the White House briefing room Friday and spoke off the cuff of almost 20-minutes about Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of George Zimmerman.

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"When Trayvon Martin was first shot, I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago," Obama said at Friday's White House briefing.

The president's remarks were both personal and reflective upon his own experiences as an African-American male.

Is he opening a dialogue to conversation that needs to be had or is he taking too far?

Outfront tonight: Former NBA player and Turner Sports Analyst Charles Barkley joins Erin Burnett at 7p ET on CNN.

Filed under: Trayvon Martin • Zimmerman Case
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. WAYNE


    July 23, 2013 at 8:25 pm | Reply
  2. ConcernedCitiizen FedUpWith BiasedMoronsWithaMicrophone

    The only person who broke a law was Trayvon Martin. He used violence to confront a non-violent person following him. He was not justified to beat the hell out of someone for just following him. And when Zimmerman spent 45 seconds calling for help, Martin should have let him go. He brought this on himself by the way he acted in an abnormal situation. He should have avoided the violence. He should have either run home or confronted Z in a non-violent way. Unfortunately, the LA minister on the Piers Morgan show had it right when he said Trayvon was raised in a racist home and was using violence to release some of his hatred for white or hispanic people. He profiled Z as a wimpy white or hispanic man. If Z was black, Martin would have never hit him, because his use of violence was based on racial hatred and racial stereotyping. His girlfriend lied about Martin being afraid. His girlfriend also forgo to mention that he told her he was going to kick Z's ass. And she also purposely left out the fact that she egged him on by asking him to get a piece of him for her also. That's why she didn't go to the wake, because she felt partly responsible.
    I also agree that Z should have identified himself as a neighborhood watch guy, but I am not sure that would have prevented the violent reaction from M, because of his racist upbringing.
    You people who think that Z should be in jail for being a neighborhood watch guy are crazy. He didn't break any laws. M brought it on his own. And oh yeah, another thing the media is leaving out of this story. Skittles and Watermelon juice and cough syrup mixed together is a common way young guys from the hood use to get high. It gets them really high. And also M had marijuana in his blood at the time of his death. He was planning on getting even higher once he got home. He was also kicked out of school for things like this and for fighting, so wake-up you bunch of uninformed illogical CNN viewers.

    July 23, 2013 at 3:07 am | Reply
  3. PRP

    Zimmerman verdict was not fair. Zimmerman broke every rule of neighborhood watch volunteer and killed an unarmed 16 year old boy !

    July 22, 2013 at 6:15 pm | Reply
  4. Charlene

    Charles B. is a idiot. Every time he opens his mouth %$&^comes out of it. I think that GZ confronted TM and a fight between the two resulted GZ was getting his butt kicked fell down hit his head got back up showed TM the gun and just point blank shot the teenager. GZ has been in trouble before and his father his always come to the rescue.

    July 22, 2013 at 5:05 pm | Reply
  5. Tony

    Last Saturday, shortly before the verdict was handed down in the George Zimmerman trial, Frank Taaffe, Zimmerman's neighbor and friend claimed (on live TV during Harris Faulkner's program featuring Judge Alex and Mercedes Colwin on Fox news) that he had information that one juror (of the five) was holding out and stopping the acquittal of Mr Zimmerman. Juror B37 interview confirms this exact scenario. Please investigate how Mr Taaffe got his information to assure the integrity of the jury sequestration process

    July 21, 2013 at 12:07 am | Reply
  6. Stevan Wolf

    Erin Burnett – You are fantastic! Love your show! Very insightful, educational and always gives both sides to your reporting. You also got it right! Wish I could meet you some day. It would be an honor. Congrats & thankx.

    July 20, 2013 at 8:32 am | Reply
  7. Stevan Wolf

    With regard to Charles Barkley's comments last night with Erin Burnett, I believe he got it right. His was a realistic view from his perspective, background and experiences. I also agreed with his suggestions moving forward. Charles has always been open and honest about subjects he cares to comment on. And he is still a Philadelphia favorite. Thankx.

    July 20, 2013 at 8:29 am | Reply
  8. Parent

    Erin, Charles Barkley should keep his comments in his brain, because they make no sense. The idea that an unharmed teenager is responsible for his own death is an irrational thinking. It is a fact that Zimmerman chased and shot unarmed Trayvon Martin in the heart. Zimmerman is the adult in this situation and should be held accountable. Zimmerman performed a cruel and cowardly act when he shot unarmed Trayvon Martin, which is causing Trayvon's parents pain that is palpable through the tv screen. Charles Barkely's comments minimizes what happened to Trayvon and can cause Trayvon's parents more pain. I am happy that Charles Barkley does not have a leadership role in the African American community. He is merely a former basketball player, who was not capable of winning a championship ring!!!!!! I hope you can share my post with Barkley.

    July 19, 2013 at 10:59 pm | Reply
  9. OOkeyMor

    Charles, I don't know what evidence you have to support your position as nobody saw what happened, only two people know what happened, one is dead the other refused to talk. That said, lets just say hypothetically that Trayvon had a gun, a man was following him, he runs the man gives chase, would he have been justified to turn around and shoot Zimmerman because he feared for his life? Do imagine that he may be fearing for his life being chased by an unknown man? .
    When you say that at some point, Trayvon became the aggressor, you imply that he had no right to the same rights claimed by Zimmerman, the right to stand his ground. He did not initiate the confrontation, Zimmerman did. If Zimmerman had not confronted him, there would be no altercation. I sincerly hope that one day, just for one day, you walk in the shoes of Trayvon.

    July 19, 2013 at 10:44 pm | Reply
  10. ron

    It's about time someone mentioned the fact that martin started the physical confrontation. He thought he was going to beat up this smaller man but got himself killed instead. Why didn't he just go on home? Why didn't he call 911? All people were ranting about was the fact that he was black. Sounds like racism to me.

    July 19, 2013 at 10:18 pm | Reply
  11. Canadian

    Finally a newscast that brings an objective point of view and speaks with reason. Charles Barkley was brilliant and I wish the rest of America and Piers Morgan would seriously listen to this broadcast and use this example as a way to conduct future shows.
    My respect for Obama has dropped drastically and I am simply shocked that he would make his message so personal and be so out of line as the President of the United States of America. He should be ashamed of himself for disrespecting all of the other cultures in the world who struggle everyday including whites and women. He is causing the "black racial divide and just made of mockery of the American justice system with his speech today. Thank you Erin for your respectful approach to great journalism.

    July 19, 2013 at 9:49 pm | Reply
  12. Julia Holcomb

    Brave thoughtful, and important speech. And yes, of course we need to continue discussing race. This is leadership.

    July 19, 2013 at 9:36 pm | Reply
  13. kay

    I would like some one to tell mr. Barkley that it is obvious he never took science in school. What he should have said was that Zimmerman lawyer only presented evidence that would make some think it was fair trial. but I know that the outcome of a hypothesis is all about what you want-You can prove anything to be true.
    If his observation was true, there would not have been a 50/50 split and a juror who almost walk out. i think if you had a more diverse jury, the outcome would have been different. So i do not agree with Mr. Barkley

    July 19, 2013 at 8:42 pm | Reply
  14. Ken

    I listened to the news and tried put myself in both Zimmerman's shoes and Martin's shoes. My understanding is that neighborhood had some burglaries in that community where Zimmerman and Martin got in the confrontation. Zimmerman's biggest mistake was that he did not identify himself as a community watchman and may have disobeyed the dispatcher he contacted on pursuing Martin. Martin told Rachel Jeantel he was in fear of his life on his phone, but Martin turned around and started hitting Zimmerman, breaking his nose and bloodying Zimmerman, and Martin got shot I. I can tell anyone on this blog that if I was being stalked by anyone, I would run as fast as I could and only respond with hitting the perpetrator if they were within several yards (measurement) of gaining on me. Trayvon Martin turning around pounding on Zimmerman does not sound someone in fear of their life. While I acknowledge that running as my first choice would not be a so called macho thing to do, there could be more of a chance of not getting killed (unless the stalker was zeroing in on me. There was no evidence that Zimmerman ran after Treyvon and it ultimately gave Zimmerman a reason to claim self defense while he was on trial. After hearing Alan Dershewitz (a distinguished attorney who was one of several lawyers who helped get OJ Simpson acqutted of murdering his ex-wife) say that the case never should have come to trial, and that Angela Corey ethics bordered being illegal when charging Zimmerman with second degree murder. There was enough reasonable doubt to acquit Zimmerman on second degree murder because there was no evidence to conclude it was premeditated.

    July 19, 2013 at 8:32 pm | Reply
  15. Marie

    Charles Barkley is out of touch with reality. I looked at the trail too. Yes, Z-man profiled this Kid. and when he got out his car he knew what he was going to do. It was premedated . Charles has his head so far up you know what. he can' see the truth. I hope something like this never happen to someone in his family. When the shoe is on the other feet things look a litter different from the other side. Not all evidence is correct. many people has been killed and some set free because of the evidence that was not correct. Charles need to go and do what he do best play ball or that other thing he do.

    July 19, 2013 at 8:18 pm | Reply
  16. Prashant

    I think CNN should play over and over what Mr.Charles Barkley had said. Thank you Erin for doing the interview and getting unbiased view.

    July 19, 2013 at 8:16 pm | Reply
  17. e francis

    Charles Barclay appears to be one of those "idiots" he remarked on. His comment that this verdict was fair is disappointing to say the least. Did not the young man have the right to defend himself when Zimmerman chased him down? If he was injured in the altercation, he asked for it.

    July 19, 2013 at 8:15 pm | Reply
  18. Robert Reinecke

    Erin Burnett asked for viewer's comments on the Charles Barkley Interview.(7/19/2013)
    My comment is : " I think Mr. Barkley is right on the mark when he says the "media" is overdoing the Zimmerman trial and any subject that has racial controversy undertones. For example, I would say CNN has devoted WAY too much time on the Zimmerman trial. I feel it only exacerbates the situation to emphasize the trial SO much. Enough is enough ,we get the message. Florida needs to change their laws to avoid such confusing( and whats seems to be unfair decisions) in the future.
    Thank You Erin Burnett (& CNN) for asking for comments.)!
    Robert R.

    July 19, 2013 at 8:12 pm | Reply
  19. Ram

    Charles Barkley? Who??? Never heard of this NBA player. Being an Asian Indian never followed NBA in the yesteryears..
    But Man oh Man what words of wisdom from Charles...I perfectly agree with every word that he spoke..Such a clarity of thought & rightly put....everyone black,white,asian,jew should listen to his 3-4 minutes of speech & sure it will strike a chord..Now I want to know more about Charles..

    July 19, 2013 at 8:11 pm | Reply
  20. Gibril Sanu

    Charles Barkley is profoundly wrong to say the verdict is right based on the the lies given by Zimmerman. How could you believe the statement by Zimmerman and concluded that the verdict is right? He should have been convicted of at least Manslaughter for profiling the Kid and eventually killing him. Zimmerman hit his own head on the concrete and that was why only a small cut is noted. There is no way the 17 years old kid could hit zimmerman`s head 25 times without a major injuries. He faked those wound to find a reason to kill Trayvon.

    July 19, 2013 at 8:04 pm | Reply
  21. Ted E.

    I love Charles... Let him tell it the way it is... especially about the media bleeding this as long as they can. I think sometimes the media creates the conrtoversy just so they can report on it... We're a nation of laws. The jury has spoken, let that be that. If it creates a diologue about social issues, great, but let's not "beat a dead horse".
    Oh yea, That Martin attorney that said she is creating "social engineering", if she want to be a social engineer, quit her law practice and become a teacher (underpaid in a poor district), or a social worker... Thart's where "social engineering" takes place...

    July 19, 2013 at 7:57 pm | Reply
  22. Martina

    Charles Barkley, is a study in perversity. He slams the media for its "unclean hands" in the issue of race, yet he accepts the Zimmerman defense (as conveyed through the media) as the truth and the whole truth. He seems supportive of Obama's summary of the racial problem, but still appears to support the judgement that Zimmerman had the right to hunt down and shoot an unarmed teenager. Sorry Mr. Barkley, the shooting of Trayvon Martin was more than just an unfortunate turn of events, it was murder steeped in the bigotry that is the foundation of this country. Once again the cult of the celebrity gives a platform to someone–who by virtue of his sports prowess–is considered a credible social commentator....when, in reality, he is just another example of what is very wrong with "this picture" and this country.

    July 19, 2013 at 7:57 pm | Reply
  23. ConcernedCitiizen FedUpWith BiasedMoronsWithaMicrophone

    Charles Barkley...Finally an unbiased opinion shown on CNN. Wow! You won't find that idiot Piers Morgan showing a calm logical discussion/opinion like that on his show. What a biased moron! How can CNN consider itself a legit news show with the bias they have shown in this case. I agree completely with C. Barkley. One important point not mentioned, though, was that the media fed the flames early on showing pictures of a 12-year old and leaving out so many important facts. It seems the media purposely fed the flames to get the ratings down the road during the trial and during the riots afterwards. It's not surprising the media's ratings in the polls are as low as Congress.
    Both are more corrupt than not, and both are as incompetent and lazy as the other!!!
    Well...you asked for my opinion..... 🙂

    July 19, 2013 at 7:53 pm | Reply
  24. Telly

    Charles mentioned at some point Trayvon began hitting George. So a person can threaten me and if i defend myself and get the best of the person, then the person can claim I threatened him (because I'm winning the fight he started) and shoot me. Does that make any sense?

    July 19, 2013 at 7:53 pm | Reply
  25. Margaret

    Thank you for having Charles Barkley on your program. CNN has been very one sided during the Zimmerman/Martin trial. He was right! It is very sad that Trayvon Martin loss his life but the verdict was fair based on the facts presented in the trial.

    July 19, 2013 at 7:52 pm | Reply
  26. Darren Sarmiento

    I agree 100% with Charles. The verdict alone was right. The closing arguments of the prosecution was use your common sense and the reason was they had no evidence to prove to the court. The media loves controversy so racism is the best news always for ratings. I live in Hawaii and the melting pot of people is the best I know of. I have 4 nationalities and I hate when racism is being used in everything. I am a local born almost 50 years old and I know there are some racism in Hawaii but I bet Hawaii can be a good example of how people get along as long as people respect each other as people not color!! Thank you.

    July 19, 2013 at 7:52 pm | Reply
  27. Doug Carlson

    Charles Barkley did a far better job of articulating the issues surrounding this case than the President. He was fair, reasoned and unbiased, all things the President was not. Thank you Charles for your comments.

    July 19, 2013 at 7:52 pm | Reply
  28. Glenn

    Charles Barkley is "right on the money"...evidence is what you have to go by....it's sad, but true.....our president needs to take care of the nation, and not Florida issues.....our Government is turning in to a dictatorship...not a democracy...our "opinions" is not what we govern by.....If it was up to me...George Z. would be in jail for "something"....our society has become Black/White....instead of issue by issue....Racism should have gone to the "side of the road" with the passing of President Lincoln and Martin Luther King...BOTH GREAT MEN......

    July 19, 2013 at 7:52 pm | Reply
  29. chris carlin

    Charles Barkley hit it on the nail, finally a black man talking real sense. It was great interview and Barkley was spot on in my opinion.

    July 19, 2013 at 7:50 pm | Reply
  30. C. B. Sam

    Shame on you! This is the last time I watch this show ....
    Couldn't you find anyone more intelligent than Charles Barkley?

    July 19, 2013 at 7:45 pm | Reply
  31. jeannette

    barkley has done more to unite our nation than our president. Barkley has it right!!

    July 19, 2013 at 7:45 pm | Reply
  32. CD Ladson

    Barkley is a sleezey man married to a white woman. His remarks have NO VALUE.

    July 19, 2013 at 7:45 pm | Reply
  33. g

    Charles is spot on in his assessment. He be ostracized by the Al Sharpton's who thrive on vitiol and hat.

    July 19, 2013 at 7:44 pm | Reply
  34. Don

    One of your very "Best Shows"; The President was "REAL" and Barkley was as "Honest" and anyone I have ever heard on TV.... Great JOB !!!!

    July 19, 2013 at 7:43 pm | Reply

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