Charles Barkley Confronts Adam Silver for League Domestic Violence
In a segment from a pre-show that he hosts, NBA legend Charles Barkley asked league commissioner Adam Silver about the domestic violence issues that plagued the offseason. Scott Halleran/Getty Images

NBA legend Charles Barkley made a blunt comment and asked Commissioner Adam Silver about the league's measures regarding domestic violence reports made against NBA players during the off-season.

Before the NBA's 2023 season opener games, which featured defending champions Denver Nuggets in a game against the Los Angeles Lakers, along with a match-up between the Golden State Warriors and the Phoenix Suns, the Inside the NBA show host ended the programme by asking Silver a question about the domestic violence troubles that players of the league are facing.

An added segment

Before leading into their commercial break, Barkley asked Silver: "I got a serious question for you. There's a couple disturbing incidents of domestic violence in the NBA right now. What are we doing to address that?"

Barkley further added: "You can't put your hands on women, man. What are we, as a league, going to do about that"?

Silver responded: "That's an area where we're not looking to compete against other leagues. Our players' association, credit to them, 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 are prosecuted".

Silver further said that the league has measures for mental health stability for their players to prevent these situations from happening.

He goes on to say: "Part of it goes to [the] training of our players, counselling of our players to make sure they understand during high-stress situations, never resort to violence against anyone. We're addressing. We have state-of-the-art counselling professionals dealing with our players. But of course, if a guy does cross the line, the consequences are enormous."

Before Barkley could respond, however, his co-host Ernie Johnson closed the interview as it exceeded the airing time for the programme.

A television source confirmed that the question was not part of the show, according to The Athletic.

The off-season incidents

Silver's response to Barkley did not align with the consequences enacted by the league, however.

Earlier in April this year, Silver was criticised by sports journalism pundits for the league's handling of the domestic violence case against Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges.

The league handed Bridges a 30-game suspension without pay for his involvement in a domestic violence incident back in June last year. Bridges turned himself over and pleaded no contest to the accusation after it was reported that he hurt his two children in front of his girlfriend.

However, the league credited Bridges 20 games after missing the 2022-2023 season from the arrest as a restricted free agent, reducing his suspension to effectively just ten games whenever he signs a new contract with another team.

During an earlier interview about the decision, Silver said: "We thought in fairness that would give him partial credit, I think, for having sat out that season."

More recently, another player in the league, Houston Rockets guard Kevin Porter Jr. was put into custody after he reportedly assaulted his ex-girlfriend WNBA player Kysre Gondrezick in a hotel in New York last September this year.

Gondrezick has since denied the assault in an interview with The New York Post, saying that she did not sustain injuries to support claims that came from the Manhattan District Attorney's Office and police.

Porter Jr. has since been traded to Oklahoma Thunder by the Houston Rockets and was waived by Thunder management.

Meanwhile, Barkley is no stranger to addressing domestic violence issues time and time again.

Back in 2014, Barkley commented that both the NBA and the NFL should suspend their players for at least ten games should they commit domestic violence offences.

He also added that if an incident of the same nature occurs a second time, it should result in a permanent ban from both leagues.