Charles Barkley: Handle Me Not

By Kevin Arnovitz

What is it about the Tiger Woods story that fascinates us? Why are we tantalized by the prospect of his imperfection? Few public celebrities are more forthright about their imperfection than Charles Barkley, who calls Woods a friend. Today Barkley went on WIP in Philadelphia to discuss how Woods is handling the incident (Hat Tip: Sports Radio Interviews).

Barkley's brand and popularity are predicated on his being unfiltered, so it comes as little surprise that he criticizes Woods' decision to mediate the episode -- both with the public and law enforcement -- through public relations handlers:

...one problem that a lot of celebrities got…you have to be really careful to try to handle everything.Sometime we give like, well not me because you know I have a strict rule; I don’t want no PR person talking for me cause they don’t make it work. They aren’t going to make it better. I think he is really making a mistake in not talking to he cops and things like that. I think he is making a serious mistake...

First of all, if, if, if that happened, I think all the secrecy, his statement apologizing - I am not perfect and stuff like that. I think they are making it worse. I mean I would love for him to come out and say: 'Hey we had a disagreement. I am sorry for the uproar. Please give me my privacy.' I think the public would be cool with that. But the TMZ, National Enquirer, him keeping quiet and avoiding the cops and things I think people are going to say at this point: Hey we need to know the damn truth now. In the beginning it was like maybe the dude did have a wreck but now with all the stuff coming out with bits and pieces you are like he didn’t just hit a tree or a fire hydrant cause some other stuff was going on. I think when you don’t come out and address it… Well if he just said we had a disagreement it is over with… I think because of Tiger and who he is I think the cops would back off of him. But I don’t think he can make them look bad. If they keep coming to your damn house and you keep telling them no I think that is very dangerous… I am speaking from first hand experience you know what sir I really apologize. It is 100% my fault. Please forgive me and I got to go. For those of you who try to hang around and do like Roger Clemens or A-Rod and things like that when you are kind of like I don’t know what I was taking and things like that. It wasn’t my fault. Man it just makes it worse...