Charles Barkley Threatens Female Journalist With Violence and Proves He Doesn’t Respect Women

Former Phoenix Suns and the Houston Rockets NBA star, Charles Barkley, has been accused of making inappropriate comments to a female reporter. Some are even calling what Barkley said a “threat.”

Barkley is notorious for his poor choice of words and his awkward way of saying things. The NBA commentator may have crossed a line with his words to Axios reporter Alexi McCammond.

Who is Charles Barkley?

Charles Barkley speaks onstage at 'How to Remain Relevant In Today's Digital Age' during the 2015 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival.
Charles Barkley | Gerry Hanan/Getty Images for SXSW

Barkley is a retired NBA star who played for the Philadelphia 76ers, the Phoenix Suns, and the Houston Rockets. He was in the NBA for 16 seasons and is an 11-time All-Star. In 2006, Barkley joined the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Currently, Barkley is a TNT basketball analyst and has held this role since 2000.

What did Charles Barkley say to Alexi McCammond?

McCammond reports that Barkley, who disagreed with her on a presidential candidate, came back at her in an unacceptable manner.

She then said on Twitter:

“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.'”

McCammond explained that she tried never to break an “off the record” agreement. But she felt this comment was not acceptable.

What compelled the NBA Hall of Famer to engage in this kind of rhetoric? McCammon explained in a separate tweet: “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.”

How has Charles Barkley responded?

McCammond says she objected to Barkley’s comments about beating her up. When she voiced concern, he allegedly told her she “couldn’t take a joke.”

On Wednesday, McCammond explained why Barkley’s comments were problematic. She tweeted: “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.”

TurnerSports PR issued an apology on Barkley’s behalf on Wednesday, admitting his comment was “inappropriate and unacceptable.” He claims his words were an attempt at a joke.

“It was an attempted joke that wasn’t funny at all,” said Barkley. “There’s no excuse for it and I apologize.”

Has Charles Barkley made this type of mistake before?

Back in 1990, when Barkley was a forward of the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA, he made a similar verbal threat. After a challenging game against the New Jersey Nets, Barkley said: “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.”

Barkley reportedly was cautioned by the reporter, who asked the athlete if he wanted to evaluate what he said. Barkley, at the time, said: “Nah, print it.” After facing backlash, Barkley claimed it was just a joke.

In 1997, Barkley apologized to NBC’s Hannah Storm during the Western Conference Finals after he made sexist comments. Barkley told Storm “women shouldn’t be announcing men’s sports.”