“Every Player Has Played With a Gay Player”: Charles Barkley’s Honest Admission After NBA Star Came Out in 2013

Published 02/11/2023, 10:50 AM EST

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Sexuality in sports wasn’t always this progressive. The concept of athletes being gay wasn’t always welcomed in the industry. However, thanks to the efforts of a fee, a revolution came into order. In 2013, NBA veteran center Jason Collins was probably the first star from a major American sports franchise to step up. Reacting to the news, TNT analyst Charles Barkley had nothing but praise.

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As an NBA player, Collins wasn’t a superstar. The veteran was constantly bouncing around teams. However, while he didn’t have much of an impact on the court, the 44-year-old was a driving force in society. Notably, in 2013, he came out as gay during an interview according to Bleacher Report.

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At such a sensitive time, it meant a lot. Collins became the beacon for many to be fearless in their truth. In addition, Charles Barkley said if he was a teammate, Collins would have his support.

Charles Barkley doesn’t see any difference

Nine years ago, the Round Mound of Rebound sat down for a one-on-one interview with Fox Sports. That was also the year Jason Collins came out to the world. Speaking about his fellow peer, Barkley felt more athletes would follow his confession. Moreover, the 11-time NBA All-Star spoke about his inclusive nature.

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During the interview with ox Sports Charles Barkley said, “As I’ve always said, every player has played with a gay player. If a guy comes to me and says ‘Hey I am gay’, dude, you’re my teammate. We’re going to support you no matter what. First of all, I’m black, I always want to be inclusive.” Opening up about the lessons the late great Bill Russell taught him, the Hall of Famer said, “The one thing Bill Russell who is one of my mentors always told me ‘We as black players we should ways be inclusive. Because when you’re excluded it’s a horrible feeling.”

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Chuck was clearly ahead of time. Unaffected by the revelation, he helped educate people. Everyone has a choice to decide who they love. Just because one is attracted to the same sex that shouldn’t have them being treated any differently. Collins and many other athletes have stepped up as advocates for the LGBTQ+ community. Brittney Griner of the WNBA is probably the most popular gay athlete today.

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Watch This Story – 5 times Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal had heated fights on Inside The NBA

On the other hand, it is due to people like Charles Barkley that helped change the mindset of society. If it wasn’t for Collins, do you think other homosexual athletes should have stepped forward? Let us know your views in the comments below.

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Written by:

Anuj Talwalkar

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Anuj Talwalkar is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He is a student studying at NM College in Mumbai, aspiring to pursue sports management to follow his love for sports. Anuj started following the NBA last year, and he loves to combine his passion for writing with his understanding of basketball.
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