Charles Barkley Donates $1 Million To Alabama HBCU
The Alabama native became the first to donate such a large sum to the historically Black college.
January 10, 2020 at 8:03 pm
Hall of Fame NBA star Charles Barkley was in a giving mood on Friday, announcing a $1 million donation to Miles College, a historically Black college in Alabama. The college is one of the country's oldest HBCU and has existed since 1898 in Fairfield, Alabama.
Bobbie Knight, Miles College's interim president, became the first woman to be appointed as head of the school in July. She said Barkley told her about the donation on Wednesday.
"It's great that he thinks enough of us to donate a million dollars. What Barkley has done helps lay the foundation for the campaign," Knight said.
Knight added that Barkley's gift is the biggest donation from a single person that the school has ever received in its history. The school president said the donation will kickstart efforts to raise $100 million so the college can continue functioning.
Barkley has a long history of donating his wealth to HBCUs across the country. In addition to his gift to Miles College, he has given $1 million to Alabama A&M, Clark Atlanta University and Morehouse College in Atlanta.
“I’ve gotten to know Bobbie over the last year and it was something I really wanted to do,” Barkley said on Thursday. “To have a female president is a big deal. I want to help Bobbie be as successful as she can be,” he added.
Barkley's support of the new female president of Miles College comes on the heels of him receiving backlash for his comment toward a female reporter.
Just in November, Barkley, who sat down for an interview, told reporter Alexi McCammond "I don't hit women but if I did, I'd hit you."
He went on to apologize for his comment, calling his remarks "inappropriate."
“My comment was inappropriate and unacceptable,” Barkley wrote. “It was an attempted joke that wasn’t funny at all. There’s no excuse for it and I apologize.”
His comment was made after McCammond said she called him out for his change of heart on which presidential candidate he supports.
Barkley was a star player at Auburn University and is one of Alabama's most famous athletes. He is now one of the NBA's most popular TV analysts.
According to a statement from Miles College, Barkley has also spent time on the school's campus speaking with students, and the school believes his donation will prompt other philanthropic organizations to throw their support behind the fundraising effort.
Over the next two years, Barkley will be involved in stimulating the local economy around Birmingham, where he serves as a majority owner of Redmont Distillery, and his hometown of Leeds.