Mark J. Rebilas, USA TODAY Sports
During TNT's NBA pregame show on Thursday night, Charles Barkley addressed Matt Barnes' Wednesday ejection and subsequent tweet, which featured a racial slur. Although the initial discussion concerned the scuffle between Barnes and Serge Ibaka, Barkley touched on the place of racial slurs in society.
"I'm a black man," Barkley said. "I use the N-word. I will continue to use the N-word among my black friends and my white friends."
He went on to relate the debate to the Paula Deen racism controversy and the Miami Dolphins' bullying scandal, before claiming that reporters "don't have the courage" to go into locker rooms.
"What I do with my black friends is not up to white America to dictate to me," Barkley continued. "The language we use in the locker room, sometimes it's sexist, sometimes it's homophobic, and a lot of times it's racist. We do that when we're joking with our teammates, and it's nothing personal."