Bernard King opens up about racism in 'Bernie and Ernie' doc

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

The former New York Knicks superstar talks about his experiences at the University of Tennessee in the 1970s in an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary airing Tuesday.

On Tuesday night, ESPN will air a documentary about the friendship between Bernard King and Ernie Grunfeld entitled "Bernie and Ernie." The film is a part of the ongoing 30 for 30 series.

King, the former New York Knicks star, opens up publicly for the first time about the racism he experienced at the University of Tennessee in the mid-70s, including an incident where a police officer hit King in the head with the butt of his gun. While the film focuses on his relationship with Tennessee and Knicks teammate Grunfeld, the now-Washington Wizards general manager says that at the time he had no idea what King went through:

While King says he is not bitter toward the University of Tennessee, he felt this was the proper time for him to talk about what happened there, via the Associated Press:

"The basic reason is relatively simple," King said in a telephone interview. "I'm 56 years old. I've never talked about anything that was private. Everything was always related to the game and my impact on the game of basketball and what I thought about that. I never revealed anything from the private side. I just felt compelled at this time in my life to talk about those things because for many years you carry that around. It was very important for me to share that."

A 30-second trailer for the documentary can be viewed on YouTube. The film will air at 8 p.m. ET on Tuesday on ESPN.

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