Charles Barkley is still employed and Alexi McCammond isn’t. How is that possible? Perhaps because Barkley said early on that NBA players aren’t role models. He’s lived by those words since and gotten away with it.
Barkley didn’t do anything on Thursday, but he was in the news again anyway after McCammond found herself canceled out of a prestigious job at Teen Vogue. It led to a rehash of an ill-advised comment from Barkley in 2019.
Charles Barkley is consistently outlandish
Charles Barkley has always been quick with a comment, first as a Hall of Fame player and more recently as an analyst for TNT. Some of those remarks are flat-out funny, like when he chirped about Draymond Green posting “his usual triple-single,” part of his ongoing jousting with the Golden State Warriors player.
Even before that, Barkley had once said he wanted “to punch him in the face so bad,” a comment about Green leading to an apology shortly afterward.
Threatening physical harm has been one of Barkley’s go-to takes.
“There’s only two people I want to kill: Skip Bayless and Jay Mariotti. Everybody else, I respect their opinions,” Barkley said in 2005, according to The Washington Post.
“Any media person that I see in person for the rest of my life who try to tell me that LeBron James is as good as Michael Jordan, I’m just going to slap the hell out of them right on the spot,” he said, according to Complex.
Barkley has also been in incidents leading to involvement by police. Most famously, he threw a man through a bar’s plate-glass window after the man allegedly became boorish toward Barkley. The man declined to press charges, but Barkley answered in court for a related count of resisting arrest.
Should any of the behavior be a surprise? Not really. In a 1993 Nike commercial, Barkley famously said, “I am not a role model. I am paid to wreak havoc on a basketball court. Parents should be role models. Just because I dunk a basketball doesn’t mean I should raise your kids.”
Charles Barkley’s shocking attack on Alexi McCammond is making news again
Charles Barkley’s pattern of physical confrontations and threats of violence had generally been confined to men. That changed in November 2019 when he told reporter Alexi McCammond, “I don’t hit women, but if I did, I would hit you.”
McCammond, who covered Joe Biden’s presidential campaign for Axios, tweeted that Barkley “told me I ‘couldn’t take a joke” after she objected. She said she publicized Barkley’s comment because “this is not okay,”Even Barkley agreed that he had crossed a line.
“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,” Barkley said in a statement issued through Turner Sports.
The story became a national topic of conversation after spreading on social media, resulting in a rehash f other Barkley controversies.
Though Barkley crossed a line, McCammond also put herself in an awkward position by acknowledging to the Washington Post that the exchange between the two was an off-the-record conversation.
“I hate being part of a story, so here’s a reminder that this is so much bigger than me: nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the U.S. (One) in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience severe intimate partner physical violence against women,” she tweeted.
The paper reported the data came from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Alexi McCammond is out of a job before even starting it
It took two-plus years, but that comment came back to haunt her by costing McCammond a major publishing position. Condé Nast, the publisher of Teen Vogue, announced to staff on Thursday that McCammond, 27, had resigned just days before she was scheduled to take over as editor-in-chief.
According to The New York Times, the magazine and its parent company had received backlash from staff, readers, and advertisers in the two weeks since McCammond’s hiring had been announced. The basis of the mutiny was decade-old tweets by McCammond condemned as racist and homophobic.
“After speaking with Alexi this morning, we agreed that it was best to part ways, so as to not overshadow the important work happening at Teen Vogue,” Condé Nast executive Stan Duncan said in the staff email obtained by the newspaper.
Within days of her hiring announcement, copies of since-deleted tweets McCammond made as a teenager in 2011 circulated. The newspaper said the remarks were insulting to Asian people and also contained slurs of gay people. Numerous Teen Vogue staffers acknowledged on social media that they had complained to their company, resulting in McCammond reiterating apologies she had made in 2019.
Any chance of McCammond’s hiring surviving the controversy may have evaporated Wednesday when eight people, mostly Asian women, were killed in a shooting rampage in Atlanta.