NBA legend Charles Barkley is in hot water for comments he made to Axios reporter Alexi McCammond. In a series of tweets, McCammond detailed her interaction with the NBA on TNT analyst that’s sparked a back-and-forth war on social media.
The exchange began as Barkley was explaining why he supported former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick for the Democratic nomination in the upcoming 2020 Presidential race. However, when someone from Pete Buttigieg’s campaign approached, Barkley apparently swapped allegiances and raved about the mayor of South Bend, Indiana. That’s when McCammond interjected, reminded Barkley how he just said something different, and Barkley allegedly made his remark to the female reporter on Tuesday night.
Charles Barkley to Female Reporter
“I don’t hit women but if I did I would hit you,” McCammond recalled of the conversation in a tweet.
Without even looking, I’m positive people in the comments section are saying something like “just another woman trying to get noticed.” But Barkley admitted to making the threat and issued an apology through the Turner Sports PR account on Twitter.
“My comment was inappropriate and unacceptable,” Barkley said. “It was an attempted joke that wasn’t funny at all. There’s no excuse for it and I apologize.”
“The comments Charles Barkley made to me are not acceptable. Threats of violence are not a joke, & no person deserves to be hit or threatened like that. Silence only allows the culture of misogyny to fester. And those kinds of comments don’t merit off-the-record protections.”
— Alexi Hammond’s response to Charles Barkley
It’s one thing for Barkley’s comments to come out of no where, but a quick history lesson of the NBA Hall-of-Famer, and you realize that this is anything but uncommon — These “jokes” about threatening to hit females look more like a pattern.
Also, Barkley came under fire over the years for his comments regarding the “big old women of San Antonio” for which he refused to apologize for making fun of their weight.
Charles Barkley San Antonio Women
The humor wasn’t lost on McCammond, who pointed out the thousands of women subjected to these types of comments every day.
“I hate being part of a story so here’s a reminder that this is so much bigger than me: nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the US. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience severe intimate partner physical violence.”
“It’s not about me or my feelings — tho I’m grateful for the many friends who have reached out. But it’s about refusing to allow this culture to perpetuate because of silence on these issues. It’s easier and less awkward to be silent, but that helps NO ONE but the perpetrator.”
“I encourage you to consider how you’d respond if a friend said something similar to what Barkley said tonight. And then challenge yourself to ask the same of yourself if a stranger (or “celebrity”) said that. I hope the answers are the same. Everyone should be held accountable.”
— Alexi McCammond, via Twitter
As you’d expect, the political reporter was flooded with even more threats, including one that she shared from a Virginia-based CPA who said she’d “be a good candidate to hit.”
Alexi McCammond’s Twitter
After this news came out, Twitter users dove into McCammond’s history and found some pretty shocking tweets of her own in an attempt to soften her “fight” against Barkley.
It is unclear if Barkley’s regularly-scheduled appearances on Inside the NBA alongside Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal will be affected by this.
Barkley was wrong, joking or not, and the response against McCammond opened the floodgates once again to the struggle women face in a cut-throat world that puts superstar athletes above all else.