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Charles Barkley weighs in on Adam Jones incident, racist fans

Charles Barkley, like many others, has weighed in on the incident Monday night at Fenway Park when Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones was subjected to racist taunts and had a bag of peanuts thrown at him.

The fallout of the incident has become a major talking point, not only in Major League Baseball but in the world of sports overall.

Barkley, as opinionated and provocative as they come, spoke eloquently when addressing acts of racially intolerant behavior that occur in stadiums and ballparks. But he did make it clear to a TMZ camera crew this week he would not tolerate racist taunts or bigoted slurs of any kind if he were to witness it.

“Boston was bad for a couple of reasons. For one, it should never have happened,” Barkley told TMZ, as transcribed by Dime Mag. “But I’m disappointed in the fans who was around those people saying those things. If I was in a crowd of people and they were mistreating anybody, I would stand up for the person that was being mistreated.

“Let’s just say hypothetically, if I was with a group of black people, which I am black, if they were mistreating a white person, a Jewish person, or a Hispanic person I would put an end to that (expletive).”

When asked whether he experienced racist acts by fans, Barkley indicated it did occur, but not all that often.

“You know I have been called names before. I’ve been called a slur, probably three or four times,” Barkley said. “It was actually in New Jersey.

“But listen, man: There’s racism everywhere. I don’t like to blanket any city. Every city has racists, but I don’t think we should ever blanket any city as ‘they’re racist.’ Racism happens everywhere. I’m from Alabama. I don’t have a leg to stand on.”

Barkley, like many others — including the MLB commissioner and two of baseball’s top managers, not to mention Jones himself — believe no one should tolerate the kind of behavior exhibited at Fenway on Monday night. At the same time, though, solving the issue won’t be easy.