Charles Barkley defends Caitlin Clark after calling out critics who hurt her through comments

The “Inside the NBA” co-host sounded off on women who he said have been less than enthusiastic about the rookie’s success, while some WNBA stars pushed back on his comments

<p>Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty; Jeff Dean/Getty</p>

Charles Barkley is calling out women who are being “petty” about Caitlin Clark’s success.

Before the Mavs-Timberwolves game on Inside the NBA, the Hall of Famer took time to acknowledge the WNBA rookie’s success and slammed those who have a problem with the player’s impact on the sport.

“You women out there, y’all petty, man,” Barkley, 61, began, before referencing a similar opinion LeBron James had shared in an episode of his Mind the Game podcast. “LeBron, you’re 100% right on these girls hatin’ on Caitlin Clark.”

He continued, “Y’all petty, girls. I expect men to be petty because we’re the most insecure group in the world. Y’all should be thanking that girl for getting y’all ass private charters, all the money and visibility she brings into the WNBA.”

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The retired NBA star then added that the unnamed women should be giving Clark “her flowers,” before addressing her directly: “Thank you for bringing all that money and shine to the WNBA.”

Barkley’s comments had his fellow co-hosts chuckling, with guest co-host Draymond Green warned the former athlete about possible push back.

“They’re gonna hate you,” Green joked, referring to other WNBA players taking issue with his comments.

Sure enough, the Golden State Warriors forward was right. By Thursday morning, current and former players including Dearica Hamby, Jonquel Jones and Chiney Ogwumike lashed out at the outspoken TNT analyst.

“Seriously…. wtf are you talking about….,” Hamby wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter) along with the clip of Barkley’s comments.

Meanwhile, Jones also questioned the details of Barkley’s claims. “Interested to know who are all the women that are hating on CC? I’m seeing a lot of coverage about it but I don’t see the hate? I’m also not a big comment reader so I might’ve missed it,” she wrote.

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