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A Brief History of Charles Barkley Fat Jokes

Manny Millan/SI Manny Millan/SI

A great number of people were offended when longtime professional troll Charles Barkley took a few jabs at the “big ol’ women” of San Antonio earlier this month. They were further incensed last week when, while still refusing to apologize, Barkley doubled down and added that Spurs fans all “suck.”

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It’s not the best way to make friends, but give him a break. If anyone should be allowed to make fat jokes, it’s Barkley, who has endured his fair share of them over the years. As proof, we've paired one weight-related joke that’s been made at Barkley’s expense with every comment he's made about the women of San Antonio. We can probably just call it even.


Manny Millan/SI Manny Millan/SI

He said: “There’s some big ol’ women down there. That’s a gold mine for Weight Watchers.”

They said:

Auburn's 6'6", 260-pound freshman center, Charles Barkley, appeared to have wandered in from a record-breaking tour of the local fast-food franchises. For obvious reasons Barkley wears the tail of his uniform top out, but this touch hardly conceals his considerable stern, which, coupled with his cherubic countenance, makes him a dead ringer for The Love Boat itself. Alas, Barkley, a starch gourmet and the league's leading rebounder, is already known by the more mundane Leaning Tower of Pizza. (Curry Kirkpatrick, Sports Illustrated, March 1982)


John W. McDonough/SI John W. McDonough/SI

He said: "Victoria is definitely a secret.. they can't wear no Victoria's Secret down there."

They said:

...280-pound junior center and cholester-All-America candidate... (Alexander Wolff, Sports Illustrated, so proud of that one he used it in 1984, 1990 and 1992)


Getty Images Getty Images

He said: "There are great-looking women. There's some big-uns, though."

They said:

In one scrimmage the 6'7", 252-pound [Lorenzo] Charles found himself playing man-to-man defense against 6'9", 259-pound Wayman Tisdale and monster-to-monster offense against 6'6", 284-pound Charles Barkley: in other words, between a rock and a lard place. (Curry Kirkpatrick, Sports Illustrated, April 1984)


Getty Images Getty Images

He said: "I bet they sold a lot of churros. They probably set a record for churros."

They said:

Charles joined my family for a day at the beach last summer, and my children asked if they could go in the ocean. I had to tell them, 'Not right now, kids. Charles is using it.' (Pat Williams, general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers, April 1985)

(Also: From a 1988 profile by Jack McCallum, this might be the best sentence ever written about Barkley: “‘I absolutely refuse to get caught up in this lifestyle,’ he said, punching the air with a chicken wing.”)

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