Barnes, who was ejected from the game after shoving Thunder forward Serge Ibaka in the chest, later deleted the tweet and also apologized for his actions on the court. But he’s recently backtracked his initial statements and decided to defend his usage of the N-word.
Here are some of the statements that Barnes has made regarding the issue:
“The word I used is a word that’s used on the court, used in the locker room, used amongst my friends and family; it’s a regular word to me,” Barnes said. “I think my mistake was using it in a social manner, which I regret and I apologize for it. But you guys have to get used to it.”
“If you look at the particular way I said it, kids are seeing that through music, through their favorite artists, and probably some of their favorite movies and even on TV now,” Barnes. “The word is not necessarily a racial slur. Everyone is trying to paint it like I made some kind of hate crime or something. It’s a word that I guarantee you will be used out here on the court today. It’s a word that I’ve already heard in the locker room. It’s not as big a deal as people are trying to make it.”
“I use the N-word … I’m going to continue to use the N-word with my black friends, with my white friends,” Barkley said.