Rick Welts, CEO of the Phoenix Suns, just came out to the public as a gay man, and now everyone is discussing homosexuality in the NBA.
There is certainly a stigma against it right now, but Charles Barkley thinks there’s no reason for it.
“I really like ESPN. They do a great job. But like once every two or three months, they bring all these people on there, and they tell me how me and my team are going to respond to a gay guy. First of all, every player has played with gay guys. 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.’ 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.”
He continued, addressing gay men in the locker room:
“A guy is never going to put himself in that situation in a professional locker room. It never crossed my mind, and I never felt any different about the guy. They’re not going to do anything in the locker room. Doesn’t work like that.”
Barkley made it a point to emphasize that anyone who says they’ve never played with a gay guy is just being ignorant.
“Society discriminates against gay people. 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. We gossiped behind each other’s back before; I’ll be the first to admit that. The first people who whine and complain is them Bible-thumpers, who are supposed to be non-judgmental, who rail against them.[…] I don’t worry about what other people do.”
We heart Charles Barkley so much right now! Much love!!
[Image via HRC/WENN.com.]