Rachel Nichols criticized Charles Barkley for making statements demeaning of girls.
At the time the statement was made, Barkley was describing a style of basketball that has developed in recent years in which three point shots have been more prevalent and the bruising, grinding play that occurs near the basket has been phased out to an extent. Co-host, Shaquille O’neal and colleagues, Rasheed Wallace and Kevin Garnett had also decried the idea that larger players were no longer wrestling and being physical underneath the basket, instead opting for a more finesse game.
“Maybe I’m old school, but I’m never gonna like that little girly basketball,” said Barkley during the Thursday airing of NBA on TNT.. “It’s girls basketball.”
Nichols, a seasoned ESPN reporter, took exception to the description from Barkley. According to Nichols, the way Barkley described “soft basketball” as girly is detrimental to the mindsets of young girls who watch him every Thursday.
“Think about how it feels for girls watching you to hear you use girly, or girls, as a substitute word for weak or lame,” said Nichols on ESPN program, The Jump. “This isn’t a PC Police thing. I’m not offended in any way. This is just about girls out there who love watching Chuck talk about basketball as much as I do who shouldn’t have to grow up feeling that they are the living, human, stand-in definition for being less than or weak. And frankly, young boys shouldn’t feel that way either.”