Charles Barkley has never been in the business of censoring himself.
This is the same man who once told you he wasn't your role model. So it shouldn't come as a surprise Sir Charles has an honest take on the "bounty" scandal that's rocked the NFL.
"You have to be a punk to snitch that out," Barkley said Monday on "The Dan Patrick Show." "That's like giving a reporter an anonymous quote. That makes you a punk, if you do anonymous, but also, you don't bring that out X amount of years later. I mean, you don't compete in it if you don't want to be in it. But I've seen at least three or four well-known NFL players, they say all teams have bounties. So I'm glad they came to Gregg Williams' defense. Because I'm pretty sure all teams do have that."
Barkley openly admitted he spearheaded one "bounty" scenario in his career, relaying an incident in which he told teammates to injure an unnamed opponent who was attempting to run up the score in his days with the Sixers.
âIâm a firm believer, if a guy shoots a three (in that situation), that you knock his ass as far in the stands as you possibly can,â he said.
Barkley believes it's the nature of football to try to sideline the opponent through physicality.
"In the heat of an NFL game, when guys are trying to make tackles, you're always trying to hit the guy as hard as possible," he said.
"I think you always want to knock the best players out of the game, he went on. "That's just normal. I want to get Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady out of the game. That's better for my team. Do I want to hurt them? No, but you want to hit them hard. That's better for my team."
Barkley's comments are interesting in that they tap into an undercurrent that's been an important piece of this story since it broke. The idea of "bounty" programs might be viewed as a cataclysmic horror by some fans and members of the media, and NFL Commissioner will face intense pressure to dole out serious discipline.
But to those on the inside -- players in the game -- it appears to be nothing more than house business being leaked into the public domain.