Charles Barkley: Gay Players Have Been My Teammates


Jason Collins has been the subject of much discussion lately after recently becoming the first active athlete to come out as gay. Some praised him for his proclamation—everyone from Barack Obama to Oprah Winfrey congratulated him for his bravery—and then there’s Charles Barkley, who candidly let it be known that gay NBA players are nothing new.

The profession basketball Hall of Famer spoke about the subject on Dan Patrick’s radio show, explaining that he’s been teammates with gay athletes.

“Of course I did. Everybody did,” Barkley explained. “Everybody played with a gay teammate. And it’s no big deal.”

Editorial: Why Jason Collins Matters

He continued by admitting that he’s had private conversations with fellow ball players who told him they were gay and just never came out to the public. “I had several [gay] teammates, I probably had three guys I played with in my 16 years,” he said.

Barkley went on to assure that the majority of other NBA athletes have played with gay teammates as well.

“Think about Jason Collins. He played on six teams, so six teams played with a gay guy. And so, everybody has played with a gay guy, you just didn’t know he was a gay guy,” he explained. ‘Cause until a gay guy comes out, it’s none of your business.” —Shannon Powell