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On the NBA’s opening night, Charles Barkley took the opportunity during a TNT interview to press Commissioner Adam Silver on a crucial issue. Just as the interview was concluding and heading to a commercial break, Barkley interjected to squeeze in a final question.

His inquiry aimed at getting Silver to elaborate on the actions the league had taken in response to domestic incidents involving NBA players.

“They said go to commercial, but I’ve got a serious question for you,” Barkley began. “There’s a couple of disturbing incidents of domestic violence in the NBA right now. What are we doing to address that? You can’t put your hands on women, man, and we should be at the forefront in sports when men hit women.

“So what are we as a league gonna do about that?” 

The unplanned question, as per The Athletic’s report, appeared to surprise Silver. The commissioner momentarily stumbled before gathering his thoughts to address the direct inquiry.

“That’s an area where we’re not looking to compete against other leagues when you say forefront,” Silver responded. “I think all the leagues are trying to address this issue. But I know, again, our players association, credit to them, this wasn’t adversarial. We put in place a new program for how we deal with, first of all, accusations of domestic violence even before they’re prosecuted. Part of it goes to the training of our players.

“Counseling of our players to make sure they understand during high-stress situations obviously never to resort to violence against anyone and so we’re addressing it. We have state-of-the-art counseling professionals dealing with our players, but of course, if a guy does cross the line the consequences are enormous.”