Charles Barkley Apologizes for ‘Joking’ to Female Reporter About Hitting Women

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NBA analyst Charles Barkley issued an apology on Wednesday morning for his comments telling Axios reporter Alexi McCammond, "I don't hit women, but if I did, I would hit you."

McCammond shared the story about her encounter on Twitter on Tuesday night.

McCammond was in Atlanta to cover the upcoming Democratic presidential debate and was discussing Barkley's support for former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick and South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg, who are both running for the Democratic nomination.

Turner Sports issued the following statement on behalf of Barkley: "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."

McCammond responded to the statement by tweeting: "The comments Charles Barkley made to me are not acceptable. Threats of violence are not a joke, & no person deserves to be hit or threatened like that. Silence only allows the culture of misogyny to fester. And those kinds of comments don't merit off-the-record protections."

Other reporters came to McCammond's defense on Twitter by sharing previous controversial comments by Barkley regarding women. Carron J. Phillips, a senior columnist with The Shadow League, recounted an instance where Barkley spoke on a 2017 National Association of Black Journalists panel and said Black women "shouldn't report sexual harassment/assault until they're in power positions at the work place." Timothy Burke tweeted a newspaper clip where Barkley joked about beating his wife after the Philadelphia 76ers nearly lost to the New Jersey Nets.

No further discipline was mentioned by the network.