Charles Barkley issues apology for ‘inappropriate’ comment towards reporter

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According to Axios reporter Alexi McCammond, Barkley told her that “I don’t hit women but if I did, it would be you,” during a political event in Atlanta on Tuesday night. Barkley issued a statement on Wednesday, apologizing for the remarks, calling them “inappropriate and unacceptable.”

TNT NBA analyst and Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley apologized Wednesday for a comment he made about striking a female reporter Tuesday night.

“My comment was inappropriate and unacceptable,” Barkley said through a statement issued by Turner Sports. “It was an attempted joke that wasn’t funny at all. There’s no excuse for it and I apologize.”

Late Tuesday night, Axios reporter Alexi McCammond posted a message to her verified Twitter account indicating that Barkley made the remark about hitting women to her.

“I don’t hit women but if I did I would hit you,” McCammond said Barkley told her. When McCammond told Barkley she objected to the comment, she said Barkley added that she “couldn’t take a joke.”

McCammond said the comment was in reference to a conversation about Deval Patrick, the former two-term governor of Massachusetts who recently entered the race for the 2020 presidential campaign. McCammond said that Barkley had said he loves Patrick, but that when someone from Pete Buttigieg’s campaign arrived, he said he loved him, too. McCammond said she reminded Barkley about his previous comments about Deval.

Buttigieg is the current mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and is also running in the Democratic field for the 2020 primary.

Barkley has been known for his candor and often controversial views on the popular “Inside the NBA” program, where he joins anchor Ernie Johnson, and former players Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal on set. Barkley often pushes the boundaries when offering his opinion, addressing race and politics. He has been an analyst for Turner Sports since 2000.

“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,” McCammond posted to her Twitter account after the incident. “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.”

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