Barkley supports the NBA dress code

It appears that Charles Barkley, one of my favorite opinionated people, supports the NBA’s new dress code. The dress code has not fallen into favor with many NBA players, including Marcus Camby, Stephen Jackson, and Allen Iverson. Iverson even went as far to say, “If you put a suit on a murderer, he’s still a murderer.”

While A.I. may have a point on that matter, Barkley had some even better points on Wednesday’s “Tonight Show with Jay Leno”.

“Young black kids dress like NBA players,” he said. “Unfortunately, they don’t get paid like NBA players. So when they go out in the real world, what they wear is held against them.

“See, these players make $10 to $15 million a year, so nobody cares how they dress. But regular black kids go out into the real world and how they dress is held against them.

“If a well-dressed white kid and a black kid wearing a do-rag and throwback jersey came to me in a job interview, I’d hire the white kid,” he said. “That’s reality. That’s the No. 1 reason I support the dress code.

“From the NBA perspective, they’ve got a product to sell. They’ve got to make it as attractive as possible to fans, viewers and corporate sponsors.

“Dr. J [Julius Erving] told me years ago that we, the players, are the caretakers of the game. I think too many players today have lost sight of that.”

He hears that Marcus Camby of the Denver Nuggets wants a stipend to buy clothes to adhere to the dress code, and Barkley cringes.

“Guys like that have lost perspective,” he said. “What’s he make, $8 million a year? It’s like when Latrell Sprewell said he needed more than $14 million a year so that he could feed his family. Give me a break.”

I personally agree with everything Barkley has to say on this matter. Years ago, Barkley had a commercial where he declared that he is not a role model. Obviously, he has seen the light on this issue. While he was right in saying that parents should be role models, kids do look up to athletes and celebrities and will often imitate what they do. Therefore, they hold the responsibility to not only dress right, but also act right off the court.

When I look at the incidents with Kobe Bryant, Jayson Williams, and Ron Artest, I often wonder what the public thinks of NBA players. I love the NBA, I love the game, and I know that 99% of these guys are not looking for trouble and are all around good guys. Still, people do judge. They see a young black man in a do-rag, a t-shit, jeans, and a few chains and the instant thought on most people’s brains is “thug”.

Allen Iverson has made his money off that image. If he wants to, he can still make his commercials in that image if he likes. But here’s a thought: I work in a grocery store, make $7.25 an hour, and I have to wear a shirt and tie to work. Why shouldn’t a professional athlete who makes millions a year have to? Either way, we’re both showing up to work.



~ by Steve L. on October 21, 2005.

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