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Charles Barkley gives his opinion on ‘locker room talk’

Former NBA player and TNT commentator Charles Barkley

Former NBA player and TNT commentator Charles Barkley is interviewed during a practice session for the 2016 NCAA Men's Final Four at NRG Stadium on April 1, 2016 in Houston. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Ronald Martinez

While many athletes have decried Donald Trump’s assessment of the sexually aggressive comments he made over a hot mic in 2005 — what he later described as “locker room talk” — Charles Barkley said Tuesday that such reactions are disingenuous.

“It is never appropriate to sexually assault or harass a woman, ever — there’s no place for that,” Barkley said during TNT’s “Inside the NBA” media luncheon. “But to act like I have not heard or said something inappropriate that I wouldn’t want to get to the public, it’s just not true. I played for 16 years . . . but to act like in my 16 years in an NBA locker room, I haven’t heard sexually explicit stuff or said sexually explicit stuff, that’s just not true.

Barkley is not voting for Trump, he said, and has voted Democrat in every election. A resident of Arizona — historically Republican but up for grabs this year — he has yet to decide whether to vote for Hillary Clinton or abstain.

Earlier this month, The Washington Post revealed the audio, which stems from a conversation with Billy Bush, then the host of “Access Hollywood.” In it, Trump lewdly describes taking actions that amount to sexual assault. Trump has apologized, but that tape has caused a bipartisan outcry that has made its way to real-life locker rooms, where professional athletes have taken exception to the “locker room talk” description.

Barkley doesn’t buy it.

“I heard a bunch of guys come out and say, ‘We never talk like that in the locker room, which is BS,’ ” he said. “I never want to be disingenuous.”


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