Charles Barkley is catching heat from sports fans after he was caught with his tongue out on national TV.
To be precise, the former basketball great from Alabama was seen licking his glasses before cleaning them on Thursday during a broadcast of “Inside the NBA.” Barkley, 58, is an analyst for the TNT post-game show hosted by Ernie Johnson, along with Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal.
Although Barkley had a cleaning cloth in his hand at the time, he must have figured fabric wasn’t enough for spotless specs.
“That’s how I clean my glasses,” Barkley said. “I need to be able to see, man. It’s more important for me to see than worry about hygiene.”
Sir Charles seemed undisturbed by any ribbing from his colleagues on camera, and we bet he’s not too concerned about the reaction on social media after “NBA on TNT” posted a clip of his cleaning method on Twitter.
Some news and sports media outlets have followed suit, eliciting responses from folks who seem alternately amused and disgusted by Barkley’s procedure.
A video posted by Bleacher Report had more than 11,000 views as of Saturday afternoon, along with comments such as:
“Chuck licking his glasses is hilarious, even though it’s nasty” — JeRon Washington
“And do what you gotta do people that dont wear grasses wouldn’t understand” –– Brad Dilley
“Chuck gettin doughnut residue all over his specs” — Dats a paddlin
“All i got to say is, Yuck chuck” — toruk makto
“He coulda just huffed on em” — gametime x3
“If any other sports network had antics like this crew , they would immediately get fired. That’s what makes this show so special.” — Funguy 7000
Instagram responses to a Bleacher Report video (which has earned about 205,000 likes) have been piling up, too.
“That’s how my grandpa did it” — @bigredmamba
“All that money and he can’t buy some eyeglass cleaner” — @_mattson
“Dr. Fauci not gonna like this” –– @j_1ofakindnocap
“Y’all should see how I clean my cds” — @yohousekei
And of course Twitter has to weigh in.