Bayless, the Fox Sports 1 “Undisputed” star whose hot takes on LeBron James and other top athletes have fueled his career, said he hasn’t taken Barkley’s talk “nearly as seriously.”
“My wife Ernestine has believed for 15 years that Charles Barkley is nothing but a sick individual,” Bayless said on an episode of “The Skip Bayless Show” posted March 10. “To her, he is just pure evil, that he is depraved, that he is a scumbag and she believes or fears that one day, Charles will somehow ― maybe unwittingly or maybe wittingly ― inspire some other nut to end my life. And this haunts her, this hurts her, because she believes that in the end, Charles Barkley would have my blood on his hands.”
“If that were Charles’ goal from the start, if that was his goal, then I congratulate him,” Bayless continued. “Because he wins on this one. He has hurt my wife deeply and she has lost much sleep over this.”
Barkley, a retired NBA star now known for outspoken sports commentary, said in 2017 that he’d like to kill Bayless on national television, though his awkward threat appeared to be for effect. Last year, Barkley yearned publicly to put Bayless in a full-body cast if they were ever alone. The New York Post reported “myriad variations of Barkley’s violent wishes” against Bayless dating back to 2005.
Bayless, previously employed by ESPN, said he asked a sports network executive in 2010 to reach out to Barkley’s Turner Sports employers to “remedy it” ― to no avail. In fact, said Bayless, it “only intensified his use of the k-word when talking about me.”
Bayless said one silver lining is that Barkley’s hatred has given him a large amount of publicity over the years. “And I appreciate that greatly,” he said.
HuffPost was unable to immediately reach Barkley through a rep.