Charles Barkley, never one to mince words, believes the gay athlete is commonplace in the NBA. The former Sixers star appeared on the Dan Patrick Radio Show Tuesday and said he probably played with three or four gay teammates. Barkley retired from the league in 2000.
“Everybody did. Everybody played with a gay teammate, Dan. And it’ s no big deal,” Barkley told Dan Patrick. “First of all, I think it’s an insult to gay people to think that they’re trying to pick up on their teammates. But everybody has played with a gay teammate.
“It’s obviously discussed, privately, because the problem is, Dan, unless somebody tells you they’re gay, you can’t say a thing about them being gay. Ya know, until somebody has the courage, and I think it takes great courage to come out, it’s kind of an unspoken word to be honest with you.”
The issue of gay athletes is a hot-button issue after Jason Collins outed himself last week. Collins, an unrestricted free agent, played for six different NBA teams.
“He played on six teams, so six teams played with a gay guy,” Barkley said.