NBA star Charles Barkley allegedly threatened female reporter with violence: 'I don't hit women but if I did I would hit you'
This is not the first time that the 56-year-old has drawn flak for making light of physical violence against women, having made similar comments in 1990
NBA legend Charles Barkley has been accused of threatening to hit a female interviewer who was talking to him about his preferred candidates for the 2020 presidential elections.
Alexi McCammond, a political reporter who is covering the upcoming elections for Axios, made the allegations in a series of tweets where she explained that the comments were made during an off-the-record interview but that she had to expose them because of their objectionable nature.
"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," she wrote in a tweet that has since being shared over 3,300 times.
She said he made the threat during a conversation about how the 56-year-old, formerly a supporter of two-term Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, switched allegiances without a second thought when Pete Buttigieg's campaign approached him.
"There are almost no times I will break an OTR 'agreement' but this is not OK," she wrote. "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."
She also shared a picture that she admitted was "dark and blurry," but insisted was one of Barkley at the bar where they were talking.
This not the first time Barkley has seemingly casually threatened to beat up a woman. Speaking after a near-loss while playing for the Philadelphia 76ers in 1990, he told a reporter, "This is a game that if you lose, you go home and beat your 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," he reportedly said.
In a follow-up tweet, McCammond said she "hates being part of a story" and wasn't doing it for attention, but to raise awareness about an issue that was much bigger than her: physical abuse.
She pointed out how nearly 20 people each minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the US — 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience intimate partner physical violence.
"It's not about me or my feelings — tho I'm grateful for the many friends who have reached out," she posted. "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"