Celebrity Culture:

Celebrity Culture:

Axios campaign correspondent Alexi McCammond broke an off-the-record agreement to report on a violence-themed “joke” that was directed at her by former NBA star Charles Barkley.

McCammond, who covers the presidential campaign for Axios, was apparently at an off-the-record event in Atlanta on the eve of the Democratic presidential debate there when Barkley took exception to being mildly called out.

“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 wrote.

“There are almost no times I will beak an OTR ‘agreement’ but this is not OK,” McCammond added, then explained “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 [Buttigieg] and I reminded him he previously said he was a Deval fan”.

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) November 20, 2019

McCammond also posted a picture from the event.

Here’s a pic (albeit dark and blurry) if you need more. pic.twitter.com/Ad32cMemiv

— Alexi McCammond (@alexi) November 20, 2019

McCammond then retweeted several examples of Barkley’s problematic history of statements about women.

Barkley has a little bit of a history of this kind of stuff. In 1997, Barkley said on female referees, “I just hope they don’t have women officials. It’s the principle of the thing. I wouldn’t want a man doing a W.N.B.A. game.” https://t.co/rm3fwo0H58

— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) November 20, 2019

Barkley once told a room full of people at a NABJ panel in 2017 in New Orleans that Black women shouldn’t report sexual harassment/assault until they’re in power positions at the work place. https://t.co/nHDjF36SJ1

— Carron J. Phillips (@carronJphillips) November 20, 2019

The first serious conversations about domestic abuse in sports were sparked in 1990 by Barkley’s comment about beating his wife. A year later, he spat on an eight-year-old girl during a game. A year after that, Nike featured him in the famous “not a role model” ad. https://t.co/xJSbFNKZie pic.twitter.com/Ahfq6JxL3T

— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) November 20, 2019

For those unaware, Barkley also once said this (and later claimed to be joking then too), so he’s got form on this front. Disgraceful. https://t.co/3P5gwW2aZ9 pic.twitter.com/onmlmTLnJT

— Steve Smith (@stevesmithffx) November 20, 2019

“I hate being part of a story so here’s a reminder that this is so much bigger than me,” McCammond went on to write, and noted “nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the US. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience severe 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 continued. “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.”

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) November 20, 2019

I encourage you to consider how you’d respond if a friend said something similar to what Barkley said tonight. And then challenge yourself to ask the same of yourself if a stranger (or “celebrity”) said that. I hope the answers are the same. Everyone should be held accountable.

— Alexi McCammond (@alexi) November 20, 2019

“I encourage you to consider how you’d respond if a friend said something similar to what Barkley said tonight,” McCammond said. “And then challenge yourself to ask the same of yourself if a stranger (or “celebrity”) said that. I hope the answers are the same. Everyone should be held accountable.”

Other Twitter users praised McCammond for her courage and expressed hope that there be no repercussions for reporting on the exchange.

UPDATE: Barkley released an apology through Turner Sports, and McCammond responded.

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. https://t.co/cll93GdZwh

— Alexi McCammond (@alexi) November 20, 2019

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