Charles Barkley made some off-the-cuff comments that many thought he would pay for the next day. After some deliberation, the good people at Weight Watchers still love the Chuckster.
Barkley was offering color commentary for Thursday night's game between the Atlanta Hawks and Miami Heat. During a break in coverage, Barkley insinuated that being a spokesperson for Weight Watchers was a scam.
The company has come out and stated simply, "We love Charles for the same reason everyone loves Charles, he's unfiltered."
The video of Barkley speaking casually with Kevin Harlan and Reggie Miller has since been taken down by the NBA. In it, Barkley states the following, via Deadspin:
I've been on weight watchers three months. I have to lose two pounds a week. I'm at 38 pounds now. They come and weigh me every two weeks. I ain't never missed a weigh-in. Never going to...I'm feeling much better. But I ain't giving away no money. I'm not giving away no free money. I thought this was the greatest scam going—getting paid for watching sports—this Weight Watchers thing is a bigger scam.
What Barkley was insinuating was being paid to lose weight is an amazing deal. He relates it to the ridiculous fortune he has found in being paid to do something he loves, by watching basketball.
Deadspin has the statement by Barkley in which he says exactly what he meant.
I meant what I said, the fact that I'm dropping pounds, getting healthier and getting paid at the same time, is my definition of a great scam. The only problem is I'm going to have to use some of the money to buy a new wardrobe.
It's comforting to know that Weight Watchers has a sense of humor about things. They would have to if they chose Barkley as a spokesperson.
People hear the word scam and they think the worst. Weight Watchers took the right stance because the Round Mound said nothing wrong.
Remember, Barkley is not a role model. He is a loud-mouthed opinionated basketball legend who analyzes basketball for a living.
That means any company using him as a spokesperson is taking a gamble. It's a gamble that will yield moments like this, but will also serve to equate your product with a very funny man.