TNT basketball commentator Charles Barkley has officially apologized on Wednesday, for what he is calling a bad “joke” about hitting a female reporter.
Axios.com contributor Alexi McCammond, who was in Atlanta to cover the coming Democrat presidential debate, took to Twitter to reveal that Barkley said he felt like hitting her after she asked about who he was supporting for the Democrat nomination.
Barkley was telling reporters that he is a supporter of former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, who recently jumped into the 2020 race. But McCammond reminded Barkley that he previously said he is a supporter of South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
That is when Barkley said he’d like to hit her if he hit women.
“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 tweeted on Wednesday.
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
With criticism mounting, Barkley apologized for the comments, calling it a “joke that wasn’t funny at all.”
Barkley issued a statement via Turner Sports on Wednesday morning.
“My comment was inappropriate and unacceptable. It was an attempted joke that wasn’t funny at all. There’s no excuse for it, and I apologize,” Barkley said.
Statement on behalf of Charles Barkley in response to tweet by Axios reporter Alexi McCammond:
“My comment was inappropriate and unacceptable. It was an attempted joke that wasn’t funny at all. There’s no excuse for it and I apologize.”
— TurnerSportsPR (@TurnerSportsPR) November 20, 2019
Wednesday’s “joke” is not the first time Barkley has had to apologize for making harsh comments about women.
For instance, when the NBA was talking about hiring female referees, Barkley, who was still a player at the time, said, “This is a man’s game, and it should stay that way.”
In 1990 Barkley also had to apologize for joking about men hitting their wives.
“This is a game that if you lose, you go home and beat your wife and kids,” Barkley said. “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 apologized for these comments at the time, also claiming it was just a bad joke.
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