NBA legend and TNT basketball analyst Charles Barkley is unlikely to be suspended or fired after he acknowledged making a threatening remark toward an Axios political reporter earlier this week, according to a report on Wednesday.
Barkley, 56, will appear in his normal role on TNT’s “Inside the NBA” broadcast on Thursday night, Front Office Sports reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. The appearance would effectively rule out a suspension for the former NBA All-Star.
Turner Sports representatives did not immediately respond to FOX Business’ request for comment on Barkley’s status. It’s unclear if Barkley faced any form of discipline.
Axios reporter Alexi McCammond detailed an encounter with Barkley at an Atlanta-area bar on Tuesday, where several campaign aides for 2020 presidential candidates had also gathered. McCammond was in the city to cover the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate debate.
McCammond said Barkley made his remark during an off-the-record conversation in which she pressed him for being indecisive over which Democratic candidate he supported ahead of the 2020 election.
The reporter said that Barkley told her “I don’t hit women but if I did I would hit you.” When McCammond objected to the comment, Barkley purportedly told her that she “couldn’t take a joke.”
Barkley issued a formal apology on Wednesday though the Turner Sports public relations Twitter account.
“My comment was inappropriate and unacceptable,” Barkley said. “It was an attempted joke that wasn’t funny at all. There’s no excuse for it and I apologize.”
Barkley is expected to make another apology when he returns to the air on Thursday, according to Front Office Sports.