The ‘Inside the NBA’ co-host ignored a commercial break to ask guest Adam Silver a “serious question”
During Inside the NBA’s season opener interview, Barkley, 60, and fellow hosts Shaquille O'Neal, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson were joined by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, and Barkley ended the segment by ignoring the commercial break to ask the guest a “serious question.”
“There’s a couple disturbing incidents of domestic violence in the NBA right now. What are we doing to address that?” the retired NBA player asked. “Because you can’t put your hands on women, man. And we should be on the forefront in sports.”
Silver’s answer? “We’re addressing it.”
The commissioner, 61, began his response by saying, “That's an area where we're not looking to compete against other leagues, when you say ‘forefront.’ So I think all the leagues are trying to address this issue.”
He went on to give “credit” to the NBA’s players association, noting, “This wasn't adversarial.”
“We put in place a new program for how we deal with, first of all, accusations of domestic violence even before they're prosecuted,” he told the hosts. “Part of it goes to training of our players, counseling of our players to make sure they understand during high stress situations that, obviously, never resort to violence against anyone.”
He continued, “So we're addressing it. We have, you know, state-of-the-art counseling professionals dealing with our players but of course, if a guy you know does cross the line, the consequences are enormous.”
Before Barkley could respond to the commissioner, Johnson, 67, wrapped up the already over-time interview.
This was not the first time that the TNT analyst questioned the league commissioner about its domestic violence policies.
In 2014, Barkley said that both the NFL and NBA should permanently ban any player who commits a second domestic violence offense, per Sports Illustrated.
"I think Adam Silver should also come out right now and say once you are convicted of hitting a woman, you will get say 10 games suspended," he said at the time. "The second time you do that, your a-- ain’t never playing in the NBA again.”
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Barkley’s recent comment was seemingly sparked by high-profile incidents of alleged domestic violence that occurred during the league’s offseason.
On Sept. 11, Kevin Porter Jr., a free agent guard who last played for the Houston Rockets, was arrested after an alleged assault involving his girlfriend, former WNBA star Kysre Gondrezick, at a New York City hotel.
The victim had laceration on the right side of her face and was taken to the hospital in stable condition, NYPD spokesperson told PEOPLE at the time. Police alleged the 23-year-old NBA player “struck her multiple times about the body and placed his hands around her neck.”
Following his arrest for the alleged incident, the Rockets stated that he cannot be part of the team, per the Associated Press.
“The allegations against him are deeply troubling,” Rafael Stone, the Rockets’ general manager, said on Oct. 2, per the AP. “Going back a few weeks, as soon as I heard the allegations, I informed his representatives that he could not be part of the Houston Rockets. They understood and he has not been with the team or around the team or had any interaction with the team since that time and will not be at media day today or in training camp.”
Porter currently faces a strangulation charge and assault charge, both of which he pleaded not guilty to, the AP reported.
Another NBA star, Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges, was also allegedly involved in an offseason domestic violence incident. Earlier this month, the 25-year-old player was accused of throwing billiard balls at his ex-partner's car with their children present.
Bridges previously pleaded no contest to one felony count of injuring a child’s parent after accusations that he assaulted his ex-partner in front of their two children in June 2022, the AP reports.
In the wake of the incident, the NBA issued Bridges a 10-game suspension upon his return to the league, per the AP. The ban was shortened from an initial 30 games because Bridges sat out all of the Hornets’ games during the 2022-2023 regular season.
If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.
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