The recent flurry of coming out stories in basketball and American life — Suns president Rick Welts, former Villanova basketball player Will Sheridan, CNN anchor Don Lemon — means that, in the coming days, we'll be hearing a lot of opinions on homosexuality and homophobia in America. (Three is a trend, right?)
It shouldn't surprise you that Charles Barkley has among the most sensible and amusing comments you'll read in that span.
Barkley told Washington Post columnist Mike Wise that he's sure he's played with gay teammates "on two of three teams I played on," and that "Every player has played with gay guys."
But Barkley noted that he was never worried that his team would be negatively affected by a gay teammate, or afraid of a gay teammate hitting on him in the locker room. Asserting that any pro who claims to have never played with a gay teammate is a "stone-freakin’ idiot," Barkley pointed out that a gay player would "never put himself in that situation" in the locker room.
And, in the biggest thunderclap of logic, Barkley noted that being able to ball is the ultimate flattener.
Also weary of the perception that a majority of straight male athletes are intensely homophobic, Barkley said gay players pose no problem, adding, "Man, we need to outlaw guys who suck at sports."
"I’d rather have a gay guy who can play than a straight guy who can’t play."
Imagine that: basketball ability meaning more to a basketball team than sexual orientation. If Barkley ever does run for political office, he needs to do it from something he can call the Real Talk Express.