Charles Barkley: I’m for Gay Marriage but Not One of Them


Former NBA MVP Charles Barkley recently sat down with Chris Meyers for an interview scheduled to air Sunday night on FOX SportsNet. The outspoken Barkley said that he’s considering running as a Democrat for Governor of Alabama and commented on a variety of topics, including homophobia in the locker room and gay marriage.

According to ESPN, “[Barkley] acknowledged that a gay athlete likely would be discriminated against in professional sports, though he said he believes they would face the same discrimination in everyday life.”

On gay marriage, Barkley said:

“I think if they want to get married, God bless them. Gay marriage is probably 1 percent of the population, so it’s not like it’s going to be an epidemic. Hey, trust me, I’m never going to kiss you and say, ‘Chris, you’re sexy.'”

No word on whether or not Meyers was relieved or disappointed by that last comment.


  1. Rad says

    So Charles, how are YOU going to help stop homophobia in the locker rooms?

    Reason #1 why I don’t like or follow major league sports.

    Reason #2: Professional athletes are horrible role models for our children. Let’s teach kids (boys in particular) that steroids are both acceptable and encouraged

    Reason #3 Misogeny, adultry and spousal abuse are perfectly fine, too. With the millions a professional contract will give you, you can buy your way out of any law suit.

    Reason #4 you don’t need an education to play. If you’re good at a sport, your exit from higher education will paved with gold. Being a moron who can dribble a ball is a benefit.

    Reason #5….


  2. psmike says

    Maybe I woke up on the wrong side of the bed,, but: FOR GOD’S SAKE WHAT DO YOU WANT HIM TO SAY? I’M STR8 BUT BECAUSE ANDY TOWLE FANTASIZES CONSTANTLY OVER STR8 ATHLETES I GUESS I BETTER SUCK YOUR DICK? This site is becoming more and more heterophobic every day. I think it was very clear to anyone with a brain he was implying that gay marriage wouldn’t cause some sort of negative effect on str8 families. Didn’t he say it with enough personal outrage while showing his bulge?

  3. Tom says

    Wouldn’t it be nice if a celebrity could simply say they support gay rights or gay marriage without feeling obligated to add “of course, I’m not gay”. (Or, in this case, “trust me, I’m never going to kiss you…”)

    As much as I’d like to applaud his open-mindedness, it’s hard to do when he adds “it’s not like it’s going to be an epidemic.”

    Might as well have said “Sure I support gay people as long as there aren’t too many of them. And, of couse, I’m not gay…”

  4. James says


    Good point, but come on let’s be honest. The famous do not set policy nor make arguments to Congress or the courts. We spend way too much time getting funky (or happy) about what a celebrity says as if their opinion matters. When it comes to basketball, I’ll listen to the “round mound of rebound.” As for a conversation abou human rights, I am not going to Barkley.


  5. psmike says

    I don’t understand why it’s perfectly acceptable for a site that seemingly specializes in the cock/crotch worship of (usually) white (usually) young (most likely) str8 athletes, then gratuitously tosses off some often unsubstantiated, frequently untrue examples of the hatred of the str8 man towards us. Why are the views of a FORMER athlete now considering a run for public office less important than the views of Mr. Towle, who’s background as a manager for Splash hardly qualifies him any more than Mr. Barkley. True, Mr. Barkley could use better language..but then being gay ISN’T his primary focus. Overall, I think his intent has at least as much credibility as a site and many of its readers who judge str8 men (and women) with the most exacting standards, and see zero hypocracy in their own actions and standards.

  6. Wayne says

    Jeez Rad, were you the geek kid that was the butt of the balls during grade school bombardment? You sure have some bitter issues with sports don’t you? As for your comments, you sterotyping pro athletes just like many stereotype gays. You see these stories of steriods and spousal abuse on television so you make the assumption that all athletes are that way. You’re very wrong and/or misinformed.

  7. Anon says

    I like playing sports. Isn’t sex a sport?? Athletes perfect their boilerplate statements over the years, nothing unusual or original from CB here and I wouldn’t kiss him either.

  8. m says

    damn… i hope this one sticks,,, I keep hittn post,,, no post

    anyway PSMIKE

    I think Andy was the editor of Genre Magazine.
    I think this is his personal site.
    I think your annoying.
    However, I hate when Andy goes on vacation.

  9. Zeke says

    Could Charles have used more sensitive language? Yes. Has he EVER been known for his cuddly, politically correct interviews? No. Could he have spewed anti-gay rhetoric like other former professional athletes running for public office in PA and MD or like former athletes turned evangelist like in WA and WI (RIP)? Yes. Did he? No.

    Frankly, I don’t understand why so many people will attack GOOD because it’s not PERFECT. Barkley has come a long way in a very short time. If any of you have actually paid any attention to the wonderful things he has been doing since his retirement I don’t think you would be so critical of him.

    Honestly, if we continue to attack people who are being supportive of us and we fail to give credit to people who are moving in the right direction on gay issues, then what incentive is there for people to be supportive of us and what incentive is there for them to move forward?

    As ANON frequently says, perfection is the enemy of excellence. We should always work for improvement. We should encourage people to use language that is progressive and positive but we shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater every time a straight person, trying to be gay positive, uses a bad choice of words. If we only accept perfection from our allies, then we will find ourselves fighting this battle alone and we will find ourselves 100% miserable 100% of the time.

    I applaud Sir Charles for his stand. I hope he will continue to grow in his progressive politics and his understanding of GLBT issues.

  10. Rich says

    That is cool of him.

    I know he is not gay, but that picture is like “strike a pose” — just put a wig on that, and he would be in RuPaul territory.

  11. mark m says

    I agree that right now Barkley is just a celebrity with an opinion. When and if he runs for office, he can make a difference.

    But I have to agree with others who are confused at the degree of hostility on this thread towards someone who a) made a positive statement about gays and b) is in the minority when it comes to sports in that regard.

    I think some of you guys just look for things to slam because your quota for the day is low.

  12. says

    it is what it is. it’s someone in a sports spotlight even approaching the subject in a careful manner. take it for what it is. it gets the dialogue going which, before this, it wasn’t going anywhere.

    some of you are really hard to please. god bless your lovers. :-)

  13. Zeke says

    BINGO! Excellent observation and excellent point Bobby.

    You just hit on a very valid and important point that speaks directly to James’ question concerning the significance of a non-politician, sports celebrity’s opinion.

    If nothing else, Barkley is opening up the discussion about marriage equality, in a positive way, in a segment of society that doesn’t often hear a pro marriage equality argument from one of their own. He is also doing it by speaking their language. His language may not be ours, but it will be much more effective in reaching the sports audience to which the interview was directed.

    THAT my friends is HUGE and its significance should not be overlooked.

  14. Zeke says

    Here is a continuation of what was said in the interview:

    “Repeating earlier comments he has made against homophobia, Barkley acknowledged gay athletes face discrimination in sports, but, says the problem isn’t limited to locker rooms. He adds: ‘If a gay guy can play, I want him on my team. Let’s get that straight.'”

    I think this makes one thing clear: We should wait to see the full interview on Fox Sportsnet Sunday night before we critique Barkley to death.

    It sounds like he was even more gay positive in the interview than the Towleroad report would have lead us to believe.

  15. psmike says

    M..thanks for your comments. I won’t comment on my feelings towards you as I have none. For the record, both of us are correct about Mr. Towles resume. My point is that Mr. Barkley has the right to share an opinion, and it’s one that I felt showed no malice nor even disrespect towards anyone. I don’t think some people here can say as much. I don’t think the sarcasm originally posted about his comments were necessary. As for my opinions about this long as there is a comment section available I guess I’ll use it. If Andy wants to take his ball and go home, I certainly don’t think my opinions will be the reason. (for the record that wasn’t a shot at Andy, but over the ‘it’s his personal site’ mentality. It’s a site that is certainly sponsored by many advertisers, so while in a technical sense it IS his site, as I’m assuming it’s still a mom and pop business and not a corporation with many shareholders, it has outgrown the standard MyPage blog.) As I stated many times before, I like certain things here, and I dislike certain things. One thing I dislike is a sense of moral superiority simply for being gay. We hold no advantage in that area. As a ‘thinking man’ I would hope you could understand that.

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