Charles Barkley: Hitting Women Comment ‘Inappropriate and Unacceptable’

Charles Barkley, a former NBA player and current analyst for TNT’s “Inside the NBA,” has issued an apology after threatening to hit Alexi McCammond, a female journalist for Axios covering the 2020 presidential race for the outlet.

Despite saying she would normally never break an off-the-record interview agreement, on Tuesday, McCammond tweeted: “Just FYI Charles Barkley told me tonight ‘I don’t hit women but if I did I would hit you,’ and then when I objected to that he told me I ‘couldn’t take a joke.'”

Turner Sports PR issued a statement Wednesday on Twitter on Barkley’s behalf.

“My comment was inappropriate and unacceptable,” the statement said. “It was an attempted joke that wasn’t funny at all. There’s no excuse for it and I apologize.”

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Following Barkley’s apology, McCammond wrote on Twitter that “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.”

The incident allegedly happened on Tuesday night when Barkley said he loved South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg after talking about how he loves former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick earlier. Both men are running for president on the Democratic ticket.

“I reminded him he previously said he was a Deval fan,” McCammond tweeted.

She said in a tweet that’s when Barkley told her: “I don’t hit women but if I did I would hit you.”

This is not the first time Barkley has made controversial comments about beating women. In 1990, while playing for the Philadelphia 76ers, Barkley said after winning a major game: “This is a game that, if you lose, you go home and beat your wife and kids. Did you see my wife jumping up and down at the end of the game? That’s because she knew I wasn’t going to beat her.”

Carron Phillips, a longtime journalist, joined in the Twitter storm to recall when, in 2017, Barkley told journalists in New Orleans that “Black women shouldn’t report sexual harassment/assault until they’re in power positions at the work place.”