Former NBA All-Star and MVP Charles Barkley once again publicly stated his support of marriage for gay and lesbian people.
In an interview yesterday with CNN’s Campbell Brown, Barkley spoke on a wide variety of issues including racism, education and religion. When Brown questioned Barkley about his previous statements coming out against GOP Christian evangelicals, Barkley stated:
“What I meant by that and I still stick by it — my idea of religion is we are supposed to encourage people to love other people. I am a big pro-choice guy. I am a big gay marriage guy and they are so divisive and that is not my idea of religion. My idea of religion is we are supposed to bring people together.”
Barkley is one of the few professional athletes to openly support the LGBT community in the media. He has spoken out several times in different high-profile media outlets over the past couple of years.
In a February 2008 interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Barkley stated his support of marriage for gay and lesbian couples. In August 2006, Barkley appeared on CMI: The Chris Myers Interview on Fox Sports Net and stated, “I think if they want to get married, God bless them.”
Charles Barkley is known for his honest and open interviews in a world where it’s extremely rare to find professional athletes willing to speak about polarizing issues such as marriage equality and racism. When you watch, it’s clear he’s not being coached and given talking points by his agent.
Charles Barkley is his own person and the LGBT community benefits from his overwhelming support. People like Barkley blaze the path for other athletes to speak openly in support of LGBT people.
Below is a portion of the interview with Campbell Brown: