Obesity awareness group wants Barkley to apologize for his comments


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The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance is calling upon Charles Barkley to apologize for comments he made recently about overweight women during a national broadcast of the show, NBA on TNT, Sports Illustrated reported.

The 51-year-old, a commentator on the program with co-hosts Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny “The Jet” Smith and Ernie Johnson, made a number of remarks about the city of San Antonio — comments that several “fat acceptance”groups including the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance have since criticized.

Among the comments he made include his belief that the city is a “gold mine for weight-watchers,” that there are “some big ol’ women down there” and “Victoria is definitely a secret [in San Antonio] … they can’t wear no Victoria’s Secret down there.”

Peggy Howell, a spokesperson for the NAAFA, said his comments were as hurtful as any insult about one’s body color, and as an African-American, he should know better.

“Making slurs about body size is just as offensive as making comments about body color…One would think being a black man, he’d be more sensitive to having his physical body criticized. It’s totally out of line. He should absolutely apologize,” she said, according to TMZ.

The President of the Obesity Action Coalition also chimed in, according to the report, calling Barkley’s comments on Tuesday evening an “extreme disappointment.”

“As a former NBA player and sports entertainment figure, Mr. Barkley should encourage equality and respect among society and not look to shame or segment one population because of their size…Obesity is a serious medical condition and not a joking matter.”

Barkley retired from NBA in 2000. An 11-time All-Star, he was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame in 2006. He competed in the 1992 and 1996 Olympic games and won two gold medals as a member of the United States men’s basketball team.

Barkley was a prolific scorer and a great rebounder, who holds career averages of 22.1 ppg and 11.7 rpg in 36.7 minutes on the court. He led the league in offensive rebounds for 3 consecutive seasons, and holds a personal record of 14.6 rebounds per game achieved in 1986-1987 season. He played in 1073 NBA games, starting in 1012 of them.

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