April 11 (UPI) -- Pro Bowl wide receiver Dez Bryant spent some of his offseason discussing racism, posting about it on his Instagram account.
Bryant referenced Charles Barkley's 2014 interview with a Philadelphia radio show in which Barkley said black people were "never going to be successful" because of "other black people."
"Unfortunately, as I tell my white friends, we as black people, we're never going to be successful, not because of you white people, but because of other black people," Barkley told Afternoons with Anthony Gargano and Rob Ellis in 2014, via CNN. "When you're black, you have to deal with so much crap in your life from other black people. It's a dirty, dark secret; I'm glad it's coming out."
Bryant took on the comments Monday, telling a story about a boy he grew up with who turned to selling drugs when he became an adult.
"First and foremost, I would like to say I do a great job of minding my own business, but it's pressing on my heart to share my thoughts about white Americans' and black Americans' (racism)," Bryant wrote. "I saw a person quote Charles Barkley when he said, 'We as black people, we're never going to be successful not because [of] you white people, but because of other black people.'"
Bryant said he hated to admit it, but he "understands that quote."
"I've been (racially) profiled on numerous occasions, but not once has it influenced an ill feeling inside me about anyone outside of that issue," Bryant wrote. "REAL SLAVERY is different from what's going on in our world now. We all (every ethnicity) have the opportunity to lead by EXAMPLE.
"Instead of making videos about the history of racism that get applause or people with influence merely doing things to post for social media, we should focus on individual accountability to be better as a whole."
Bryant, 28, is a three-time Pro Bowl selection and was voted as an All-Pro in 2014. He has had a successful seven-year NFL career after leaving Texas' Lufkin High School and Oklahoma State.
"I recently ran into a guy I grew up with who spent his adulthood dealing drugs," Bryant wrote. "While we were catching up, he shared with me that he wished that he chose a different and better path. He said seeing my success was inspiring and that it encouraged him to do better with his life.
"Real question: What is wrong with being sophisticated and black? Why do we associate those who choose the straight-and-narrow as not being 'black enough?' Why was it that I was one of the first examples of success to my friend?"
Bryant had 796 yards and eight touchdowns on 50 receptions last season. He signed a five-year, $70 million contract in 2015 with the Cowboys.
"We focus hard on fighting the realities that exist instead of creating our own reality," Bryant wrote. "The ones who came for us (Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Malcolm X) paved a new path for us to follow. The struggles and hurt they endured created new life for us today.
"It is not our job to carry the burden, but it is our job to lead by example. Not that my opinion matters, I'm just sharing my thoughts."
The Cowboys kick off the 2017 NFL preseason with a Hall of Fame game matchup at 8 p.m. Aug. 3 against the Arizona Cardinals.