Charles Barkley recently spoke with Sports Illustrated and his comments are causing about the normal amount of attention Barkley gets when he opens his mouth to a major publication — a lot. This time around, you can pull literally a million nuggets form Barkley’s chat with SI’s Richard Deitsch but the little snippet we’re focusing on revolves around a topic that touches us all: ugly women.
In the interview, Barkley (who’s on TNT’s studio coverage of the NBA, aka television) states that if you are a less than attractive looking woman, you must stand as far away from a camera as possible, and forget all dreams you have of ever actually appearing in front of one that is broadcasting to millions of viewers worldwide.
“If you are an ugly woman, you have no chance of getting a TV job. … I think you have to dress like [Bob] Sager to get a job now.” Barkley said. “I will say this: They have hot, great-looking women on TV now. But if you are an ugly woman, you ain’t got no chance of getting a TV job.”
This doesn’t appear to be directed at anyone in particular and the question poised revolved around sideline reporters and Barkley’s hatred of them. But even though Barkley’s comments are gross, sexist, insensitive and rude — he’s right.
Let me as you this: how many buck-toothed, one-eyed, greasy acne crusted and/or unibrowed women do you see ESPN calling in for job interviews. Now how many blonde haired, blue-eyed, chiseled bombshells are currently working at all four major sports networks as sideline gals…exactly. Barkley may have gone about this subject in a rather blunt way, but he’s actually exposing the blatant sexism of both major networks and of us at home by saying a sexist thing.
You see how that little cycle of mirrors is working?
Women have long had a harder road to success than men, and it wasn’t until the last five years the SportsCenter actually had a show with two women as anchors — and the world didn’t end. Why did Erin Andrews become such a thing; because she was a beautiful woman that talked about sports that was filmed naked.
Let’s face it, guys are gross and sports fans are even grosser. If you want a definition of one track mind, or a living and breathing stereotype of the male sex, look no further than drunk, over stimulated and under sexed sports fans who are running high on testosterone an are usually hot and bothered slobs. I believe that’s the verbatim definition of male in Webster’s.
Barkley’s not wrong and we’re not right. But the more important question is are we more amused that Barkley was (sort of) making a social commentary on how women are viewed in sports, or are we laughing at Barkley for saying something outrageous?