Barkley talks Rice, Peterson; says 'we spank kids in the South'

NBA Hall of Famer and Turner sports analyst Charles Barkley joined Jim Rome on CBS Sports' The NFL Today to discuss one of the worst weeks in league history, specifically the surveillance video that emerged Monday showing Ray Rice punching his then-fiancee in the face and knocking her unconscious, and the Saturday arrest of Adrian Peterson for "reckless or negligent injury to a child," stemming from a May incident in which the Vikings running back beat his four-year-old son with a switch.

Barkley on Rice: "The NFL obviously fumbled the entire Ray Rice situation. But we are bringing awareness to domestic abuse, that's a good thing. ... Most men would not ever try to get any type of mental help if they felt like they needed it. Those are two positives that can come out of this.

"Listen, you can't hit a woman. I feel bad that that tape was ever shown. Ray Rice made a tragic mistake and he has to live with that. But I do hope some owner has the courage -- and it's going to take tremendous courage -- to give Ray Rice another chance.

Turning to the Peterson situation, Rome asked Barkley if it's OK to hit a child.

"I'm from the South. I understand Boomer's (Esiason) rage and anger ... but he's a white guy and I'm a black guy. I don't know where he's from (editor's note: Esiason grew up in Long Island), I'm from the South. Whipping -- we do that all the time. Every black parent in the South is going to be in jail under those circumstances."

Rome: "It doesn't matter where you're from: Right is right and wrong is wrong."

Barkley: "I don't believe that because, listen, we spank kids in the South. I think the question about whether Adrian Peterson went overboard -- Listen, Jim, we all grow up in different environments. Every black parent in my neighborhood in the South would be in trouble or in jail under those circumstances."

Charles Barkley weighs in on the Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson situations. (USATSI)
Charles Barkley weighs in on the Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson situations. (USATSI)

Rome: "My thing is: I don't want to tell anybody how to raise their kids and I really don't want anybody telling me how to raise my kids. But let's make a distinction between 'child rearing' and 'child abuse.' That was child abuse. There's no fine line here."

Barkley: "I think there's a fine line. Jim, I've had many welts on my legs. I've gotten beat with switches -- and I don't even like the term. When the media talks about it, 'beating a child'--

Rome: "But that's what that was, Charles."

Barkley: "We called it 'spanking' or 'whipping' our kids."

Rome: "If I see open wounds or bruises on a body, that is a beating."

Barkley: "Sure. I think those pictures are disturbing. And I think Adrian said, 'I went overboard.' But as far as being from the south, we all spanked our kids -- I got spanked, me an my two brothers"--

Rome: "But then, Chuck, not now, right? 1964 is one thing, 2014 is another. Maybe we need to rethink this thing."

Barkley: "And I totally agree with that. But I think we have to really be careful trying to teach other parents how to discipline their kids. That's a very fine line."

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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