NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley got straight to the point and asked NBA Commissioner Adam Silver about the league’s stance on domestic violence.
On Tuesday (Oct. 24), Charles Barkley and the rest of the Inside The NBA crew were holding court before the first game of the season between the visiting Los Angeles Lakers and the recent champions, the Denver Nuggets. They were joined by the league’s commissioner, Adam Silver. After a few questions about other issues impacting the league, Barkley made his last question an impactful one.
“I got a serious question – they’re telling me to go to commercial, but I don’t care,” Charles Barkley began. “There’s a couple of disturbing incidents of domestic violence in the NBA right now. What are we doing to address that? Because you can’t put your hands on women, man. And we should be at the forefront in sports. … So what are we as a league going to do about that?”
The NBA is currently dealing with two highly prominent cases of players alleged to have committed acts of domestic violence. Kevin Porter Jr. was arrested and charged with assaulting his girlfriend, Kyrse Gondrezick in New York last month. After pleading not guilty, Porter was traded by the Houston Rockets to the Oklahoma City Thunder, who released him. Miles Bridges of the Charlotte Hornets is serving a 10-game suspension after pleading no contest to a felony domestic violence charge in June 2022. Originally given a 30-game suspension by the NBA, 20 games were chopped off as Bridges did not play the entire 2022-2023 season.
Silver responded with a bit of cautious language at first. “Well again, we’re not trying to compete with other leagues when you say “forefront” as I feel that all the other leagues are trying to confront this issue.” He credited the players’ association for their efforts and attention to the issue before continuing with his response to Barkley’s question.
“We put in place a new program for how we deal with, first of all, accusations of domestic violence even before they’re prosecuted,” Silver said. “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. 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.”