We’re a couple of days removed from the revelation Phoenix Suns executive Rick Welts is gay, a story WFAN’s Mike Francesa dismissed as completely uninteresting (presumably, Mike is qualified to tell victims of discrimination which items are newsworthy and which aren’t). Quizzed by the Washington Post’s Mike Wise on DC’s 106.7 FM yestereday, Charles Barkley (above, right) considered the matter of hoops homophobia slightly more relevant than Francesa.
First of all, every player has played with gay guys. 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. These guys would go crazy.’ 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 play.
Any professional athlete who gets on TV or radio and says he never played with a gay guy is a stone-freakin’ idiot. I would even say the same thing in college. Every college player, every pro player in any sport has probably played with a gay person.
A guy is never going to put himself in that situation in a professional locker room. They’re not going to do anything in the locker room. Doesn’t work like that. It never crossed my mind, and I never felt any different about the guy.
Society discriminates against gay people. They always try to make it like jocks discriminate against gay people. I’ve been a big proponent of gay marriage for a long time, because as a black person, I can’t be in for any form of discrimination at all.
“We need to outlaw guys who suck at sports,” insisted Chuck, who might well have added there’s little danger of outlawing Diet Coke addicts who suck at social commentary.