Alexi McCammond is a reporter for Axios currently covering the 2020 presidential campaign. On November 19, McCammond made headlines when she said ESPN analyst Charles Barkley told her that he “didn’t” hit women, but if he “did,” he would hit her.
McCammond, 25, first relayed the event in the evening of November 19, tweeting, “Just FYI Charles Barkley told me tonight ‘I don’t hit women but if I did I would hit you,’ and then when I objected to that he told me I ‘couldn’t take a joke.'”
Barkley has since offered up the following statement: “My comment was inappropriate and unacceptable. It was an attempted joke that wasn’t funny at all. There’s no excuse for it and I apologize.”
In response to Barkley’s statement, McCammond tweeted, “The comments Charles Barkley made to me are not acceptable. Threats of violence are not a joke, & no person deserves to be hit or threatened like that. Silence only allows the culture of misogyny to fester. And those kinds of comments don’t merit off-the-record protections.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Barkley’s Remark Came Amid Conversation Over Deval Patrick’s 2020 Candidacy, McCammond Says
In a tweet, McCammond explained that Barkley’s comments to her, which were technically off the record, came amid a conversation when she was seeking clarification over his level of support for Deval Patrick’s candidacy.
She wrote in a tweet, “There are almost no times I will beak an OTR ‘agreement’ but this is not OK. And it was all because he came in talking about how he loves Deval Patrick and once someone from Pete‘s campaign came around he said he loved Pete and I reminded him he previously said he was a Deval fan”
Though Barkley has since issued a statement apologizing for what he said, some have noted that this isn’t the first time he’s made comments about violence against women. In 1990, while he was playing professional basketball, Barkley said after a game, “This is a game that, if you lose, you go home and beat your wife and kids. Did you see my wife jumping up and down at the end of the game? That’s because she knew I wasn’t going to beat her.”
McCammond has since encouraged her followers to take Barkley’s comments seriously. She tweeted, “I hate being part of a story so here’s a reminder that this is so much bigger than me: nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the US. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience severe intimate partner physical violence”
She also added, “It’s easier and less awkward to be silent, but that helps NO ONE but the perpetrator.”
2. McCammond Has Been a National Political Reporter Since 2017; Previously, She Worked at Bustle
Per her LinkedIn, McCammond has been working for Axios for two years now, as a National Political Reporter. Her bio reads, “I cover the 2020 presidential election”
Alexi McCammond is a political reporter covering the 2018 midterms for Axios. She previously worked for Bustle, the leading website for millennial women. While there, she grew the site’s news and politics vertical, focusing on everything from reproductive rights to labor market trends to executive orders. Alexi reported from the DNC, the presidential debates, and President Trump’s inauguration for Bustle, filing stories and curating videos through the website’s Instagram. Alexi has appeared on MSNBC, Fox Business, WJLA, WNYC, among others. Before Bustle, she covered Marco Rubio’s campaign during the New Hampshire primary for the Sarasota Tribune. Alexi is a Chicago native now living in D.C. with her miniature schnauzer, Marlin.
3. McCammond Recently Received an Award from the National Association of Black Journalists
In August, McCammond was given an award for emerging journalism by the National Association of Black Journalists.
In the press release announcing her award, the NABJ explained its reasoning for selecting McCammond:
Within a few months of joining Axios in 2017, Alexi McCammond quickly found herself emerging as a news leader – she was promoted from deputy news editor to national political reporter. It was her drive, tenacity and commitment to holding those in power accountable that allowed her to quickly emerge as a force in political journalism. Her unique style of reporting elevated her as a leading voice in the coverage of the 2018 mid-term elections, as well as the White House.
NABJ President Sarah Glover also said, “Alexi McCammond is a past participant in NABJ’s training programs, and we are so proud to see her develop into a journalist of great character and dedication, who has shown unwavering commitment to upholding the principles of journalism.”
Following the news, McCammond tweeted, “grateful is an understatement. Thank you @nabj”
4. McCammond Writes About Topics Like the ‘Racial Wealth Gap Among 2020 Democrats’, & How Trump Keeps Up With The New York Times
McCammond’s page on Axios shows the breadth of the topic she covers. Some articles include “Behind the Scenes: How Trump Gets His NYT and WaPo Fix,” and “Texas Republicans Sound the Alarm on Party’s Future.”
McCammond also frequently appears on talk shows and news panels, as seen in the tweet above.
5. McCammond Has Shown Some of the Responses to Her Barkley Tweet, Some of Which Have Criticized Her Decision to Speak Out
Following her tweet about what Barkley said to her, McCammond shared some responses she had received from other people, one of which blamed her for speaking out at all.
In a tweet which held a screenshot of an email, one person appeared to write,
Your tweet about Charles Barkley was very unprofessional. You claim it is not about you, but it was all about you bringing attention to yourself. I don’t hit women, but if I did, you would be my first. Get a life!!!
McCammond later revealed that this person claimed to be hacked. She tweeted, “Wow. After calling his company and two employees telling me he had been hacked, David got on the phone and said ‘I wasn’t threatening you, I simply said if I hit women — which I don’t — you’d be a good candidate.’ This is fucking insane.”