When you point the finger, sometimes, harshly, you have three pointing back.
On Wednesday night, Axios reporter Alexi McCammond apologized for old tweets. The tweets surfaced on the heels of McCammond blasting basketball analyst and former star player Charles Barkley for joking about wanting to hit her for questioning him about waffling about his support for a few Democratic presidential hopefuls.
Today I was reminded of some past insensitive tweets, and I am deeply sorry to anyone I offended. I have since deleted those tweets as they do not reflect my views or who I am today.
— Alexi McCammond (@alexi) November 20, 2019
Her offending tweets are from 2011 and involve a “stupid” Asian teaching assistant.
Another questionable tweet by McCammond: “I wonder when I’ll get sick of “n***as” in Paris. #never.”
(Over the summer, the National Association of Black Journalists honored her with the “Michael J. Feeney Emerging Journalist of the Year” award at the NABJ convention in Miami. But some observers reasoned that if she’s allowed to joke, shouldn’t Charles Barkley be afforded the same luxury? They also suggested that Barkley should consider rescinding his apology.)
The Axios reporter busted the famed Barkley late Tuesday night for his joke. (RELATED: Charles Barkley Jokes About Hitting Female Reporter — She’s Not Laughing)
“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,’” she tweeted.
By Wednesday, Barkely quickly apologized in a statement to Turner Sports, calling his comments “inappropriate” and “unacceptable.”
McCammond wasn’t in a forgiving mood. “Threats of violence are not a joke, & no person deserves to be hit or threatened like that,” she wrote, in part.
The topic of a man hitting a woman even arose in Wednesday night’s Democratic presidential debate when former Vice President Joe Biden put his foot in his mouth — or punched himself in the face — when discussing it.
When asked how he’d deal with sexual violence, he replied, “No man has a right to raise a hand to a woman in anger other than in self-defense, and that rarely ever occurs. So we have to just change the culture, period,” Biden said. “And keep punching at it and punching it and punching at it.” (RELATED: Joe Biden And His Gun Gaffes)
Side note: Barkley has griped about the current debate format: “It sucks.” (RELATED: Charles Barkley Wants A New Debate Format)
Biden’s inarticulate buffoonery aside, this was not the first time Barkley joked about the third rail topic of domestic violence.
In 1990, Barkley — a reportedly 253-pounder for the 76ers — joked that losing a game would inevitably mean beating your wife. After the Philadelphia 76ers nearly lost to the New Jersey Jets, Barkley said, “This is a game that, if you lose, you go home and beat your wife and kids.”
He told a reporter, “Did you see my wife jumping up and down at the end of the game? That’s because she knew I wasn’t going to beat her.”
In 1991, he spat at a little girl during a game and the NBA suspended him. He eventually apologized and befriended the girl and her family.
But it’s also not the first time that McCammond has spoken out about men treating women badly — more specifically, men treating her badly.
In January, 2016, she wrote a first-person story for Cosmopolitan about the night she was drugged at a Chicago nightclub.
“I had always accepted drinks from men before and never thought twice about it. I was a college student, drinks in Chicago are expensive, and if someone else wanted to pay for a stranger’s drink, then I usually saw no harm. I said I’d have a vodka cranberry,” she wrote, describing a “creepy dude” who had approached and wanted to buy her and her friends drinks.
After the room began spinning, she went through bouts of uncontrollable crying. She went to the hospital where doctors put in an IV and told that she had several different drugs in her body. She wrote: “Getting drugged was the worst experience of my life, but knowing how horrible it was makes me never want to experience it again.”
Live and learn, right?
“In a way, I’m thankful that I’m now more aware of my surroundings and the possibility of someone slipping a drug into my drink. I still accept drinks from strangers because I don’t think accepting or denying drinks will affect the likelihood of this happening again.”
In September, 2016, she called then-candidate Donald Trump out for allegedly grabbing her wrist for asking him a question about why young women should vote for him. She wrote about it for Bustle and released the video.
In April, 2019, she announced on Twitter that she had been drugged at the fancy St. Regis Hotel bar which sits on a corner a quick block from the White House. She visited the ER three times. At the time, her boss’s wife praised her for her bravery.
It’s November, 2019. McCammond has, once again, had the opportunity to speak out against a man treating a woman badly — in this case, like the others, herself.
She wasn’t wrong to reveal what Barkley said or for sharing her other experiences about being drugged at a bar. It may finally be a good idea for her to never accept a drink that she doesn’t order herself or never accept one without watching it poured and seriously guarding it.
Reality is raw — when you call a powerful person out, repercussions are likely.
This was no exception for Alexi McCammond.