To prevent Will Smith or any other person from slapping someone on the Oscars stage next year, Fox Sports Radio host Dan Patrick suggested Charles Barkley should host the awards ceremony.

“That would be a lot of pressure to handle that situation, that would be A LOT of pressure,” Barkley answered. “Will was 100 percent wrong. Let’s just leave it right there. I don’t want to pile on, I love Chris Rock, I love Will Smith, but Will Smith was 100 percent wrong, that’s it.”

Smith stormed the Oscars stage to defend his wife from a joke by Chris Rock and Patrick reminded Barkley that he similarly had to deal with hecklers in the past. But the basketball Hall-of-Famer quickly acknowledged he was wrong to react with hostility.

“I think I’ve been arrested four or five times for punching people and I was wrong, it’s alright to admit you’re wrong,” Barkley said. “It was an overreaction, part of our job is to get heckled and people say stupid stuff to you, but at the time I was 25, 26, and I was an idiot for overreacting.”

After previously responding to rude fans with his fist, Barkley’s newfound peaceful approach to dealing with hecklers is a complete reversal from even just one year ago. Last season, fans returned to arenas from COVID-induced absences with some brutal behavior that included throwing popcorn at Russell Westbrook.

The unruly conduct prompted Barkley to advocate for player violence in the crowd. “I think you should be able to go up in the stands and beat the hell out of one person per game,” Barkley suggested on Inside the NBA last year.

But at least for today, the 59-year-old is willing to try a more Zen-like approach when it comes to dealing with taunts, jeers, and hecklers.

[The Dan Patrick Show]

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to