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Charles Barkley: Pro athletes have ‘nothing to gain’ by confronting hecklers

Charles Barkley knows a thing or two about having to deal with hecklers, and has on occasion allowed those kind of individuals to get the best of him.

Still, the outspoken NBA analyst believes professional athletes have too much to lose in this day and age by allowing hecklers to get a rise out of them.

“If you hit a fan and hurt them, you might KILL them,” Barkley said, as transcribed by TMZ Sports. “But the main thing, you just gotta walk away or they’re just gonna sue ya.”

The topic of athlete-heckler confrontations is at the forefront this week due to incident late last week involving Leonard Fournette. TheĀ Jacksonville Jaguars running back claims he confronted a fan during Thursday’s game against the Tennessee Titans over the use of a racial slur.

Further, Kevin Durant recently was fined for a profane exchange with a heckler as well, showing how pro athletes in all sports have to navigate these kind of situations.

Barkley, however, noted how confrontations with hecklers are rife with risk, pointing out that such situations can potentially escalate and lead to serious consequences in the form of costly litigation.

“Listen, they would never say that to you and fight you in the streets, but if you hit them you’re gonna lose a lot of money,” Barkley said. “… You gotta let it go. You got nothing to gain. Suck it up, brother.”