As fiirst reported by USA Today and Awful Announcing, popular TNT announcer and Hall of Fame basketball player Charles Barkley is taking a leave of absence from his television job following his recent arrest in Arizona on drunk driving charges. Barkley’s blood alcohol level was reportedly .15 at the time of his arrest. That’s nearly double the legal limit of .08 in Arizona.
Awful Announcing calls the leave of absence a “perfect move” by Barkley’s network. It takes the pressure off TNT to suspend or fire Barkley. TNT officials can now portray Barkley in a more sympathetic light. When USA Today contacted the president of TNT sports, David Levy said about Barkley, “We are concerned for his well-being.” Levy also called Barkley a “valued part” of the company’s organization.
Meanwhile, Arizona authorities have released the audio of Barkley’s arrest.