NBA legend and sui generis basketball commentator Charles Barkley is in some hot water for comments he made during the first round of the 2019 NBA playoffs about the “big ass women of San Antonio.” While TNT showed fun footage of dynamic, acrobatic flipping cheerleaders at the Houston Rockets game, Barkley laughed and said: “I bet you couldn’t do that to those big ass women in San Antonio.” The comment from Barkley drew the ire of body positivity advocates all over, not just in San Antonio. Ironically, Barkley himself has always had to carefully manage his weight, having come out of college with the nickname “round mound of rebound.”
Barkley has made a reputation — pro and con — for always speaking his mind no matter the cost. Barkley’s famous Nike commercial during his playing days told everyone he was “not a role model” — and he hasn’t been afraid to offend when he thinks he’s speaking the truth. And his San Antonio women perspective hasn’t changed (evolved?) — he’s been telling the same “joke” and getting Shaq to laugh at it for a while. But the NBA’s perspective on various aspects of WOKE culture has changed, so it’ll be interesting to see if Barkley keeps it up.
But it’s not just the allegedly Rubenesque women of San Antonio that Barkley has bothered with his incendiary commentary either. Barkley has also knocked NBA untouchables like LeBron James for occasional lack of effort. And Barkley’s war of words with Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green has included threats by each to throw a punch. Typically Barkley doubled down instead of backing off saying San Antonio was a “gold mine for weight watchers.” Chuck may need to watch out next time he strolls the River Walk down by The Alamo.