Charles Barkley recently said he turned down a chance to be on Monday Night Football. He didn’t say when the offer was made, and he didn’t elaborate on its terms.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, ABC once offered Barkley a halftime spot on Monday Night Football. The possibility was raised with Barkley after Mike Pearl, who passed earlier this year at 77, returned to ABC from Turner Broadcasting in 2003. Pearl ran the NBA coverage at Turner and had a great relationship with Barkley. Pearl wanted Barkley to be a weekly halftime guest with Al Michaels and John Madden. The trio would have, and could have, talked about anything during the segment.
Barkley engaged in discussions with ABC about the possibility before declining the opportunity roughly a week later.
It’s unclear whether Barkly was specifically referring to the potential halftime segment with Michaels and Madden when he raised the issue on The Jim Brockmire Podcast, or whether there has been a more recent effort to recruit him to Monday Night Football. Regardless, one attempt came roughly 18 years ago, and he passed.