Now, this is refreshing to hear not just for us, but for all the young closeted kids and gay athletes out there who can benefit from former NBA player and Olympian Charles Barkley’s pro-gay stance.
“First of all, society discriminates against gay people,” Barkley says during a recent radio interview. “They always try to make it like jocks discriminate against gay people. I’ve been a big proponent of gay marriage for a long time, because as a black person, I can’t be in for any form of discrimination at all.”
Barkley made the statements after being asked how he felt regarding two basketball figures, Phoenix Suns executive Rick Welts and former Villanova starter Will Sheridan, who recently came out.
Barkley, who was known to be one of the most aggressive players of his day, says that not only does he know he has played with gay teammates before, but he doesn’t care about their sexual orientation.
“It bothers me when I hear these reporters and jocks get on TV and say: ‘Oh, no guy can come out in a team sport, these guys would go crazy,'” he says. “First of all, quit telling me what I think. I’d rather have a gay guy who can play than a straight guy who can’t play.”
Do you share Barkley’s take on gay athletes and gay rights in general?