Charles Barkley apologized Wednesday after a reporter accused him of telling her, “I don’t hit women, but if I did, I would hit you.”
In a statement released by Turner Sports, the former NBA star and longtime TNT basketball analyst called the comment “inappropriate and unacceptable.”
“It was an attempted joke that wasn’t funny at all,” Barkley stated. “There’s no excuse for it and I apologize.”
Axios reporter Alexi McCammond tweeted Barkley’s comment Tuesday night from Atlanta, where she is covering the Democratic presidential debate.
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.”— Alexi McCammond (@alexi) November 20, 2019
In another tweet, McCammond gave some context.
“It was all because [Barkley] came in talking about how he loves Deval Patrick and once someone from [Pete Buttigieg’s] campaign came around he said he loved Pete and I reminded him he previously said he was a Deval fan,” she wrote.
There are almost no times I will beak an OTR “agreement” but this is not OK. And it was all because he came in talking about how he loves Deval Patrick and once someone from Pete‘s campaign came around he said he loved Pete and I reminded him he previously said he was a Deval fan— Alexi McCammond (@alexi) November 20, 2019
McCammond also tweeted that when she objected to Barkley suggesting he’d like to beat her up, he told her she “couldn’t take a joke.”
Back in 1990, Barkley apologized for saying after a tough win: “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.”
At the time, he said that comment was meant as a joke as well.
“Threats of violence are not a joke, & no person deserves to be hit or threatened like that,” McCammond tweeted Wednesday. “Silence only allows the culture of misogyny to fester.”
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. https://t.co/cll93GdZwh— Alexi McCammond (@alexi) November 20, 2019