Former NBA star and current analyst for TNT Charles Barkley put his foot down and threw his full support behind the LGBT community. Further, the actor shared some harsh words for those critical of the transgender community.
“I want to say this,” Barkley prefaced during an event at the Harveys Lake Tahoe casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. “If you are gay and transgender, I love you. And if anybody gives you s—t, you tell them Charles said, ‘F—k you!'”
Charles Barkley: “If you are gay or transgender, I love you. And if anybody gives you sh*t, you tell em Charles says ‘f**k you!’”
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) July 16, 2022
Interestingly, the TNT analyst made these comments in support of the LGBT community just days after officially confirming that he has been in talks with the Saudi-backed LIV Golf organisation for what could potentially be an analyst spot for the former NBA Hall of Famer.
In a recent episode of The Next Round podcast, Barkley, a golfer himself, was asked whether there was some legitimacy to the rumours about LIV Golf Tour executives attempting to sign him as either an analyst or as one of the new faces of the organisation.
“I’m going to meet with LIV,” Barkley disclosed, promptly admitting, “They called me and asked me would I meet with them and I said, ‘Yes,'” before clarifying that “Nothing is imminent” at the moment.
He went on, “I actually don’t know everything they want from me or what they technically want me to do, but you’ve got to always look at every opportunity that’s available.”
“So, the answer to your question is 100 percent yes, I’m going to meet with LIV,” Barkley added, eventually revealing that the person who contacted him was none other than former professional Golf player and LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman.
What’s more, the TNT analyst also revealed that not only is this meeting with LIV Golf’s Greg Norman “imminent” but that it is also supposed to take place “sometime in the next week.”
The LIV Golf organisation was founded by Greg Norman in 2021 and is financed by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, which is likely a fact that the former NBA star is well aware of.
Saudi Arabia is known to be a country that isn’t welcoming of the LGBT community, which is why Barkley’s recent comments telling off individuals who do not agree with the aforementioned ideology come off as either uneducated and tone-deaf or flat-out hypocritical.
Just last month, during the LGBT community’s self-professed “Pride Month,” Saudi Arabian officials took it upon themselves to confiscate rainbow-coloured items showing support for the woke ideology.
Saudi Arabia is confiscating rainbow-colored items from stores in Riyadh. A report from the state-run media says the government wants to "protect children" from materials promoting the "poisoned message" of homosexuality. pic.twitter.com/rBU1Zg1T6s
— DW News (@dwnews) June 16, 2022
As per information provided by Equaldex, homosexuality is not only illegal, but it is also punishable by death. Similarly, same-sex marriage is illegal.
Other common LGBT practices legally forbidden in Saudi Arabia include changing gender, and same-sex adoption amongst others.
In 2011, Barkley declared, “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 asserted, before reiterating, “First of all, 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.”
In April of 2016, Barkley took a stand against North Carolina’s “anti-discrimination” law, fervently stating, “As a black person, I’m against any form of discrimination — against whites, Hispanics, gays, lesbians, however you want to phrase it.”
“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,” the NBA Hall of Famer concluded.
While this is not the first time the NBA star has thrown his support behind the LGBT community, it is quite hypocritical of him to denounce those who do not support the LGBT ideology whilst still trying to land a position at the Saudi-backed LIV Golf organisation.
What do you make of Barkley’s comments against those who do not advocate for the LGBT community? Sound off your thoughts in the comments section down below or on social media.