Even during the most wonderful time of the year, which is, by the way, the NCAA Tournament, March Madness, and everything that entails, certain people speak the truth, and stand out as a major voice in college sports. This year, that voice is Charles Barkley, who might have started out as a guy who could put a ball in a hoop, but now, he has emerged as profound, thoughtful, and well, deep. In an election year, where divisive issues tear us apart, Charles Barkley is taking a stand on gay rights, and what he thinks someone should do to the Westboro Baptist Church.
TMZ took an opportunity to chat with Sir Charles about Derrick Gordon of Seton Hall, who is reportedly the first openly gay man to play in the NCAA, and the hateful Westboro Baptist Church, who in all their wisdom, are taking this opportunity to do what they do best, which is protest. Because obviously, a gay man playing basketball is the signal for the end of days.
“I really hate them sumb***hes,” Barkley said.
“Hopefully, somebody will beat the hell out of those Westboro people.”
Sadly, Barkley probably won’t be the one who actually brings the beat down to Westboro Baptist Church, as her has a lot to lose, and he is better than that, but think of the pay-per-view revenue that would bring.
The New York Post is reporting that Westboro Baptist Church is now stalking Derrick Gordon and protesting outside wherever Seton Hall is playing in the NCAA tournament. Gordon, to his credit, is blocking it all out, and referring to it as a non-story, as he has been out, and so has the story, for two years.
“My teammates know. Everybody knows. There’s no pressure at all. It’s just me going out there and knowing what I know.”
Think Progress wrote a piece called “Charles Barkley, Gay Rights Hero,” and though he is an unlikely spokesman for gay rights and gay marriage, he is amazingly thoughtful, and cuts through a lot of garbage. First, to all of the guys out there who say there haven’t been gay men on their sports teams, he has some thoughts for you. You are an “idiot.”
“Any professional athlete who gets on TV or radio and says he never played with a gay guy is a stone-freakin’ idiot.”
Whether is was college or pro ball, Barkley said if you played basketball in one of these systems, more than likely you were on a team with a gay guy. So Gordon might be the first openly gay man in the NCAA tournament, but he’s not the first gay man to play in the big show, and he won’t be the last, so move on to something that counts.
“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.”
So many people are ready to dismiss Sir Charles as being a simple guy from Alabama, but he is so much more than that, according to Alabama.com. Barkley sees America’s homophobic problem as part two of America’s racial problem, because there seems to be something ingrained in our culture that it needs to be okay to hate someone or some group, rather than turn on those who are simply intolerant. Barkley said that America has always had a race problem, and we have added homophobia on top of that.
“Now we have a homophobic problem. Any form of discrimination, you have to check it.”
And Barkley also has had enough of people hiding behind the Bible to justify their hate.
“Typically in the South, that’s where I’m from, all of these rednecks hide behind the Bible…”
Barkley has always been forthright, and never shied away from sharing his opinions, and whether or not fans agree with them all, he always keeps it interesting. He should be a role model of someone who is so much more than a guy who could dribble and shoot a basketball. Barkley has had a second and third chapter in his life, and is staying relevant in a great way.
That is why it is so sad that Barkley, who took the time to call out hate against racism and homophobia is being denigrated on social media like Twitter by young men who can’t string together a sentence, or use their 140 characters with flair, calling Charles Barkley gay, and using slurs associated with homosexuality that I won’t be using here.
Because Charles Barkley says it’s okay to be gay, and asks what it has to do with the game of basketball, these misguided guys are called into action to behave like trolls and call Sir Charles names? Anyone familiar with Barkley knows that Sir Charles doesn’t care, but isn’t it a sad statement? It’s as if these boys have just grabbed a sign and joined the Westboro Baptist Church.
What do you think of Charles Barkley, his thoughts on LGBT players in sports, and the Westboro Baptist Church?
[Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images]