Charles Barkley says ‘of course’ he was on teams with gay players

Former NBA great Charles Barkley said having gay teammates is "no big deal."
(Elise Amendola / Associated Press)

Former basketball great and current analyst Charles Barkley is nonchalant about NBA center Jason Collins’ recent revelation that he is gay.

That’s because, Barkley said on Dan Patrick’s radio show Tuesday, he has played with gay players before.

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


Barkley said he knows this for a fact because he had private discussions with gay teammates who hadn’t come out publicly. “I had several [gay] teammates, I probably had three guys I played with in my 16 years,” he said.

Plus, Barkley added, “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. ‘Cause until a gay guy comes out, it’s none of your business.”

Collins, a 12-year NBA veteran due to be a free agent this summer, became the first active male athlete in a pro team sport to publicly admit he’s gay, when his self-penned article was published last week in Sports Illustrated.


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