- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Axios political reporter Alexi McCammond fired off a series of tweets Tuesday night accusing NBA legend Charles Barkley of making a joke about hitting her during an off-the-record discussion in Atlanta.

“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,’” Ms. McCammond wrote.

Ms. McCammond said Mr. Barkley made the remark during an off-the-record conversation about the 2020 Democratic presidential lineup. She said Mr. Barkley initially said he was a fan of candidate Deval Patrick, but said he loved Pete Buttigieg when someone from the mayor’s campaign showed up. When Ms. McCammond reminded the TNT sports analyst that he previously said he liked Mr. Patrick, he made the comment about hitting her, she said.

“There are almost no times I will beak an OTR ‘agreement’ but this is not OK,” Ms. McCammond tweeted. “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 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.

“I encourage you to consider how you’d respond if a friend said something similar to what Barkley said tonight,” she added. “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.”

Mr. Barkley has not responded to Ms. McCammond’s allegations.

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