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Former NBA player Charles Barkley is getting heat for a so-called “joke” he made to a reporter. Now he is being called out on social media.

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Axios reporter Alexi McCammond wrote on social media, “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.'”

According to her, the exchange happened due to a discussion about Deval Patrick who recently announced he’s running for president. She Tweeted, “There are almost no times I will beak an OTR ‘agreement’ but this is not OK. And it was all because he came in talking about how he loves Deval Patrick and once someone from Pete‘s campaign came around he said he loved Pete and I reminded him he previously said he was a Deval fan.”

She also included a pic of Barkley:

After the tweet went viral, McCammond wrote, “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.”

She continued, “It’s not about me or my feelings — tho I’m grateful for the many friends who have reached out. 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. 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.”

Barkley was criticized on social media abut some slammed McCammond for putting the exchange on social media. Barkley is currently a sports commentator on TNT. One user tweeted, “If you tweet fire Charles Barkley over a joke and not actions you are part of the problem. I’ll mute you. I love comedy and no one can take a joke anymore. I take abuse very seriously seeing it first hand but this is ridiculous. I’m with Charles.”

Charles Barkley has not responded to the backlash. 

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