After the Supreme Court’s recent ruling eliminating affirmative action in college admissions, Charles Barkley decided to take matters into his own hands and take action in support of Black students at his alma mater. The former NBA star and sports analyst has chosen to gift Auburn University $5 million in scholarships exclusively for Black students.
The goal of this donation is to help support disadvantaged Black students reach success.
“I love Auburn,” Barkley told Al.com. “I’ve actually changed it to be used for kids from poor homes… I need to make sure Black folks always have a place at Auburn. So I’m gonna change my will and make it exclusively for Black students – all $5 million. It’s just for me the right thing to do. I always want to make sure that Auburn’s diverse. We’ve always lacked diversity; I’m doing my part to make sure we are more diverse.”
Barkley’s Charitable Side
But this isn’t the first time Barkley has shown his passion for education and diversity. After Deion Sanders left his position as head football coach at Jackson State University, Barkley donated $1 million to the school. He’s also given back to several other historically Black colleges and universities like Alabama A&M University, Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Miles College, Tuskegee University, and Spelman College.
On June 29, the Supreme Court ruled that the affirmative action program at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina were a violation of the Equal Protection Clause in the Constitution. This then eliminated the consideration of race within college admissions. The ruling has since promoted dialogue about diversity within academia and has been celebrated by conservative activists.
President Joe Biden condemned the ruling in an official statement saying, “We can’t go backwards. I know today’s Court decision is a severe disappointment to so many people, including me, but we cannot let the decision be a permanent setback for the country. We need to keep an open door of opportunities. We need to remember that diversity is our strength. We have to find a way forward.”