“I am not a role model” — Charles Barkley

To this day, professional athletes are often characterized as role models. But Charles Barkley unapologetically said he was not one in a 1993 Nike commercial. Chuck’s phrase prompted immediate backlash from media, fans, and even other athletes. This ad was also in stark contrast to Michal Jordan’s PG “Be Like Mike” Gatorade commercial in 1991.

“Locker-room talk” — Donald Trump

Four years ago, Donald Trump took the Presidential debate stage and justified sexual predatory behavior and his infamous ‘grab ‘em by the pussy’ line as “locker-room talk.” The phrase also smeared professional athletes and provoked them to speak out against Trump’s grotesque use of “locker-room talk.”

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“Equal pay!” chant — U.S. Women’s National Team supporters

Equal pay morphed from a soccer chant into a political rallying cry for gender pay equity in the United States. When the U.S. women’s national team won its fourth World Cup in 2019, supporters chanted, “equal pay.” Once the team returned to the U.S., it was greeted with a ticker-tape parade and more fans shouting the phrase.