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Charles Barkley offers his staunch support to LGBTQIAP+ community in a stirring speech

During a passionate speech on a public platform, Barkley emphatically endorsed gay rights and transgender rights.

Charles Barkley offers his staunch support to LGBTQIAP+ community in a stirring speech
Image Source: Charles Barkley attends HBO Premiere Of Four-Part Documentary "SHAQ" at Illuminarium on November 14, 2022, in Atlanta, Georgia—Getty Images | Paras Griffin

Celebrities are often put on pedestals because of their achievements. Consequently, witnessing celebrities taking a firm stance on significant matters is truly uplifting. NBA icon Charles Barkley captured the hearts of many when he fearlessly stepped onto the stage and expressed his support for gay rights, using his influential public platform, pdf Queerty. His strong stand involved some expletives and an appeal by him to cool off with some sips of Bud Light.

Image Source: Charles Barkley looks on prior to game three of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat at Kaseya Center on May 21, 2023, in Miami, Florida
Image Source: Charles Barkley looks on before game three of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat at Kaseya Center on May 21, 2023, in Miami, Florida—Getty Images | Megan Briggs

Barkley in his enthusiastic manner said, “Drink this. I want you’ll to drink this f**ing beer, I got three cases of Bud Light, and hey, I want to say this. If you’re gay, bless you. If you’re transgender, bless you. If you have a problem with that — f*** you!” The reference to Bud Light is important as it has become one of the most talked about brands in America after its decision of collaborating with a celebrity from the LGBTQIAP+ community.



 

Bud Light in April entered into a collaboration with TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney. Mulvaney was featured in some social media ads for the brand. This led to many conservatives opposing the brand. As a result, several high-profile pro athletes and figures decided not to enter into a relationship with the brand. Barkley stands as an exception within them as he has no qualms not only associating with the brand but calling out all the people who have problems being related to the LGBTQIAP+ community.

Charles Barkley #4, Power Forward for the United States men's national basketball team prepares to shoot a free throw during the Group A game against Lithuania at the XXVI Summer Olympic Games on 24th July 1996 at the Forbes Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. USA won the game 104 - 82. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Allsport/Getty Images)
Image Source: Charles Barkley #4, Power Forward for the United States men's national basketball team prepares to shoot a free throw during the Group A game against Lithuania at the XXVI Summer Olympic Games on 24th July 1996 at the Forbes Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. The USA won the game 104 - 82—Getty Images | Doug Pensinger

The athlete emphatically said, "I ain’t worried about getting canceled.” The reason behind Barkley's confidence is also his prolific position. The athlete has a well-deserved place in the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame and has a TV Contract that garners him almost 10 million dollars annually. It is safe to say that the athlete is in a position to support the rights that he wants without any fear of backlash ruining his life.

CAMDEN, NJ - SEPTEMBER 13: Charles Barkley unveils his sculpture at the Philadelphia 76ers training facility on September 13, 2019 in Camden, New Jersey. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Image Source: Charles Barkley unveils his sculpture at the Philadelphia 76ers training facility on September 13, 2019, in Camden, New Jersey—Getty Images | Mitchell Leff

This is not the first time that the athlete is supporting the LGBTQ community. His public form of support also came in the American Century Championship in Tahoe. Apart from proclaiming his love and support for the LGBTQ community he also expressed the disdain he has for bigotry in the speech he made last summer. Currently, Barkley is appointed as TNT’s lead NBA studio analyst and is set to make a debut as an addition in a new primetime show on CNN this fall. In 2011 when asked about gay teammates. the athlete responded that he has played with gay players before and it has never been an issue.

Charles Barkley #4, Power Forward for the United States men's national basketball team during the Group A game against Argentina at the XXVI Summer Olympic Games on 20th July 1996 at the Forbes Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. USA won the game 96 - 68. (Photo by Mike Powell/Allsport/Getty Images)
Image Source: Charles Barkley #4, Power Forward for the United States men's national basketball team during the Group A game against Argentina at the XXVI Summer Olympic Games on 20th July 1996 at the Forbes Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. The USA won the game 96 - 68—Getty Images | Mike Powell

Barkley's statement during that time was, “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. 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.” Barkley has been publically supporting same-sex marriage for a long time and has also been involved in campaigning against bathroom bills. These bills prevent transgenders from using bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity. He was also supportive of the coming out of Jason Collins, the first active player to affirm his sexual preference as a gay man.

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