Charles Barkley Apologizes After Threatening To Hit Female Reporter – WTF, Chuck?! – Perez Hilton
One of the greatest NBA players of all time is in the middle of a completely avoidable controversy this week after he threatened physical violence against a female political reporter at an Atlanta-area bar.
Charles Barkley officially apologized in a statement released by his employer, broadcast company Turner Sports, on Wednesday, not even 24 hours after Axios political reporter Alexi McCammond came forward to reveal that the former basketball star threatened to hit her while the two were talking at the bar yesterday evening.
The entire controversy began late Tuesday night, when McCammond — who was in Atlanta working ahead of Wednesday night’s Democratic debate held in the southern city — tweeted she had run across Barkley at a bar in town.
During an off-the-record conversation, according to the young reporter, she asked the former pro athlete who he was supporting for President during this election cycle.
According to McCammond, the threats came after Barkley initially began to talk up former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick, before suddenly shifting to support of candidate Pete Buttigieg once in the presence of his campaign aides. When the Axios journo pointed out Chuck’s back-and-forth, she tweeted (below) that he allegedly threatened her for it, saying:
“I don’t hit women but if I did I would hit you.”
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)
Thankfully, Barkley at least (briefly) took the high road in response, delivering an official apology (below):
“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.”
We’d have all been better off if, ya know, he had never actually threatened to hit a woman in the first place, but at least he realizes now that it was wrong. Baby steps, we suppose?
But wait… there’s more…
At this point in the story, we leave Barkley behind — but McCammond (regrettably) takes center stage.
Hours after reporting out the unfortunate incident late last night, the political pundit returned to Twitter to reinforce why it was newsworthy, and why she’d rather not have been part of the story at all, tweeting (below):
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.
— Alexi McCammond (@alexi)
McCammond herself wasn’t immune to the fallout from this situation, either. As she reported out the Barkley incident, social media users swarmed her years-old tweets and found a variety of off-color messages, calling her out and eventually forcing her to apologize later on Wednesday.
You can see that play out (below):
This is wild. pic.twitter.com/McZtqKwRmQ
— Laaaa (@Kingcam) November 20, 2019
“…..but wait, there’s more!” *Billy Mays voice*
Not only is she a hypocrite about inappropriate comments in general, she’s even a hypocrite about violence towards women…note the Chris Brown tweets.
Bad joke by Barkley: over the line, but joking about admitted abuser 👍 pic.twitter.com/oaBJ0fTAaF
— Will Applebee (@NOTSCWill) November 20, 2019
The reporter’s own (now-deleted) tweets became the subject of her subsequent apology, released on Wednesday evening:
Today I was reminded of some past insensitive tweets, and I am deeply sorry to anyone I offended. I have since deleted those tweets as they do not reflect my views or who I am today.
— Alexi McCammond (@alexi) November 20, 2019
Obviously, it doesn’t magically absolve Charles Barkley, nor does it make it OK for other men to email and tweet her threats of violence. But man, what a weird twist at the end of what was already going to be a bizarre story.
Without a doubt, there’s a lot to take in here.
Reactions, Perezcious readers?! What did U think of Chuck’s attempt at a joke?! What about the twist of the reporter’s old tweets, too?? Sound OFF with all your reactions and more in the comments (below)…
[Image via Adriana M. Barraza/WENN/Twitter]
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