By CBS3 Staff

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Former Philadelphia 76er and NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley is known for comments that catch some people off guard, but a comment he made to a female reporter is making headlines. Barkley is receiving backlash after Axios reporter Alexi McCammond says he told her, “I don’t hit women but if I did I would hit you.”

McCammond added that when she objected, “he told me I couldn’t take a joke.”

McCammond, who is covering Wednesday night’s Democratic presidential debate, said Barkley’s remark came after he expressed affection for both former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Barkley issued an apology through Turner Sports.

“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,” the statement said.

Following Barkley’s statement, McCammond said the Hall of Famer’s comments are not acceptable and threats of violence are not a joke.

“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,” McCammond tweeted.

 

She went on to say that this was not about her or her feelings, it is about refusing to allow “these issues” to remain silent.

It’s not known if Turner Sports will punish Barkley for his comments.