Last week, DraftKings announced NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley would appear in a series of commercials. For right now, those commercials will only play in New Jersey, since that’s the only active area for the DraftKings Sportsbook.
The announcement seemed benign at the time. However, in light of Barkley’s history, his appearances may not be the best idea for DraftKings.
Barkley is one of the most high profile athletes who has lost millions gambling. By his own admission, his gambling has gotten out of hand before, and he has lost more than $1 million in a single session “10 to 15 times.”
For Barkley, who has made hundreds of millions of dollars, it may not be an addiction. He may simply like to gamble, and he has the wherewithal to lose more money than most.
However, the manner in which he’s portrayed is quite troubling. The premise of both commercial spots is to have Barkley interact with a medical professional known as “Dr. Aftkings.”
In the first commercial, Barkley is a patient in the doctor’s office. He is dressed in a medical gown and obviously suffering from some sort of ailment.