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“I’m Charles Barkley Secondary I’m A Man First”: Charles Barkley Once Broke Down Why He Constantly Got Into Fights With Fans

Abhishek Dhariwal

"I'm Charles Barkley Secondary I'm A Man First": Charles Barkley Once Broke Down Why He Constantly Got Into Fights With Fans

Being a professional athlete may seem like it comes with all bells and whistles attached but very few know the darker side of being one before stepping into the spotlight. While an athlete may gain fame and popularity, there will be many who would do or go to any lengths to bog them down. And Charles Barkley was someone who would not take disrespect lightly, as he was seen talking about it with Bob Costas back in 1993.

An old snippet of an interview of Charles Barkley and Bob Costas has been circulating online. In the video, Sir Charles was talking about the disrespect he’d have to endure from some fans and how he chose to respond.

“You know, it’s amazing. People get offended when athletes do the same thing, but first of all, for me to do something the same, somebody had to be screaming something to me that’s really obscene. I don’t go to the games and say I’m gonna make an obscene gesture to a fan, something has to provoke me.”

Bob Costas made a counter-argument of how professional athletes should be held to a higher standard and wanted to know Barkley’s two cents on it. And the Round Mound of Rebound had a perfect response to it.

“Not true, I’m a person. I was a person long before I was an athlete. And I’m a man, I’m Charles Barkley secondary. I’m a man first and that’s why I’ve gotten into some altercations because I don’t let these fans…They don’t have to respect me, they don’t have to like me. But they cannot disrespect me. If a fan walks up to me in my face and says some, he’s probably gonna get punched in the face.”

Now, it may seem like Charles Barkley is an instigator but as he mentioned in the video above, it would take someone else to start something that would cause him to retaliate aggressively. Just like us, professional athletes are humans as well. And what might end up provoking you would have the same effect on the very same players as well.

Yet, many expect professional athletes to maintain decorum and keep their cool, regardless of what is being said to them. Moreover, Charles Barkley was someone who was known to have an aggressive personality back in the 90s. He had gotten into multiple altercations and had also thrown a man through a glass window back in ‘97, ending up with the authorities involved and Barkley spending a few hours behind bars.

Charles Barkley still has that fire in him

Charles Barkley is not a man to be messed with. Though the younger generation of fans has mostly seen him fooling around with Shaquille O’Neal and the rest of the panel on Inside the NBA, the former NBA star still has some of that fire in him from his early days. Barkley had once revealed how he would not hesitate to throw hands at a fan who would go on to disrespect him.

"I'm Charles Barkley Secondary I'm A Man First": Charles Barkley Once Broke Down Why He Constantly Got Into Fights With Fans
Credits: USA Today Sports

“Ninety percent of fans are great. But it’s the ten percent that I’d like to take out back and just shoot ’em. They’re jealous and angry. It sucks. I just think to myself, ‘Please come close enough to touch me.’ I know I’m fat. I know I didn’t win a championship, but my life is pretty good. And I’m saying to myself under my breath ‘Please touch me.”

These were Barkley’s words when he made an appearance on Colin Cowherd’s The Herd on ESPN Radio back in 2015, long after he had retired. Now, the narrative towards Barkley may split into some supporting him while others would refute. Regardless of how anyone feels, Barkley seems to be quite comfortable with how he is living and seems quite untethered by opinions now.

About the author

Abhishek Dhariwal

Abhishek Dhariwal


A fan of the sport since the late 2000s, Abhishek has been covering the game of basketball for the past five years now. Having done his masters in Journalism and Mass Communication, Abhishek prides himself in being referred to as a sports journalist at The SportsRush. A fan of the San Antonio Spurs since the Tim Duncan era, Abhishek has an extensive knowledge of the sport and has covered more than 1500 articles. Having a firsthand experience of the sport, Abhishek has represented his city and state at a district and national level. And it is the same level of expertise he aims to bring while covering extensive topics both on and off the court of your favorite basketball stars.

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