In a message of solidarity and support for the LGBT community, former basketball star Charles Barkley is calling for the NBA All-Star Game to be moved out of North Carolina, where it’s currently scheduled.
As everyone knows, North Carolina recently passed an anti-LGBT law, and several companies and celebrities have spoken out against such discriminatory actions. Now we can add Charles Barkley’s name to the protest.
“As a black person, I’m against any form of discrimination — against whites, Hispanics, gays, lesbians, however you want to phrase it,” said the famous athlete. “It’s my job, with the position of power that I’m in and being able to be on television, I’m supposed to stand up for the people who can’t stand up for themselves.”
In response to Tim Hardaway’s past homophobic statements, Charles Barkley also voiced his outrage.
“If somebody is gay, that’s their own business,” he said. “But it bothers me how people try to say that jocks are not going to like a gay … I think gay people should be allowed to get married and God bless them, that’s their own business. Listen, if a guy can’t play that’s the only time we don’t want to play with him. We don’t care about all that extracurricular stuff.”
Barkley has also been quoted as saying: “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.”
And this time Charles Barkley has taken his support even further, by saying: “As long as anti-gay legislation exists in any state, I strongly believe big events such as the Final Four and Super Bowl should not be held in those states’ cities,” he said.