Charles Barkley shed his often-comic persona on the NBA’s opening night Tuesday to ask Commissioner Adam Silver about domestic violence in the league. The TNT host even ignored a commercial break to confront Silver with the reportedly unscripted question. (Watch the video below.)
“There’s a couple of disturbing incidents of domestic violence in the NBA right now,” Barkley began. “What are we doing to address that?”
Silver was apparently caught off guard but dug in for an answer.
He said a new program is in place for dealing with accusations before they are prosecuted, and that counseling for players emphasizes that “high-stress situations” are not an excuse for violence.
“We have state-of-the-art counseling professionals dealing with our players,” Silver said. “And if a guy does cross the line, the consequences are enormous.”
On Oct. 13, Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges surrendered to police after allegedly violating a protection order stemming from a domestic violence case. He previously pleaded no contest to injuring his girlfriend in front of their two children. The NBA took more than 5 months after Bridges’ plea to finally impose a 30-game suspension. He’ll serve 10 games of the punishment to begin this season.
Free agent guard Kevin Porter Jr. was arrested in September for allegedly strangling a woman at a New York City hotel. He was previously accused of punching a woman and ripping off her weave in 2020, though he was ultimately not charged over that encounter.
After the more recent incident, Porter was traded from the Houston Rockets to the Oklahoma City Thunder, and then was waived by the Thunder. The NBA has yet to impose a penalty, and Porter has a scheduled court appearance for Nov. 27 on charges of strangulation and assault, to which he has pleaded not guilty.
Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.