Charles Barkley: The Whole ‘Locker Room Discussion’ Is “An Insult To Gay People”

Charles-BarkleyLast May, retired NBA MVP Charles Barkley entered the “When are we going to have an out gay athlete?” conversation by revealing he’d worked alongside several LGBT athletes during his career.

This week, he’s condemning the homophobic nonsense directed at newly out NFL hopeful Michael Sam, telling CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that the discussion over how gay athletes will be received in the locker room is an “insult to gay people”:

I think it’s an insult to gay people to think that they are going to be looking at their teammates in a sexual way. That’s an insult to all gay men. And we welcome them to the locker room, and I wish Mr. Sam the best.

He also believes an LGBT athlete would fell safe and welcome in the locker room:

I think they’re going to be safe with their teammates. I think the public at large is more homophobic than guys in the locker room. I think we as players get a bad rap.

Players get a bad rap? Hmm, wonder why?

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #charlesbarkley #interview #lgbtathletes stories and more


  • Black Pegasus

    Sir Charles Barkley is a class act!

  • EdWoody

    Here’s the stupid thing about the “but he’ll look at my winkie’ argument.

    YES WE WILL. But we always have. We have always been there, looking. And we always will be. BUT we know how to control ourselves. We know when it’s safe to hit on a guy and when it’s not. It IS insulting to us to think that you’re so f’ing hot that we will lose the control we have been perfecting since before puberty.

    Besides which, STRAIGHT MEN LOOK TOO. Every man compares, but that’s a very different thing from taking it any further. If you’re uncomfortable being naked in a locker room with other men, perhaps you’re in the wrong job.

  • Cam

    What I want to ask is….

    How many heterosexual NBA players would be able to control themselves in a locker room full of naked women showering with them?

    Gay people have been controlling themselves for their entire lives. the LAST thing they need to worry about is the locker room.

    Thank you Mr. Barkley!


    I’ve never looked other guys in the locker room; probably I’m more conspicuous because of this. And I’ve never checked out other guys at the urinal — not even at a gay venue.

  • Tookietookie123

    It is a massive insult, straight people don’t realize we don’t screw everything that moves. We did go to high school and have been in locker rooms before and know how to handle ourselves, hence the close to zero cases of there ever being any rapes in locker rooms. If you think it’s bad for you, it’s a lot worse for us, I remember guys in my locker room would like to pretend they were gay, I just quickly changed and left because it was always uncomfortable.

  • Kieran

    Ofcourse he’s right. It would be like the media putting forth as a legitimate concern that white players might not feel comfortable sharing a locker room with black players because the black players might try to steal their bling.

  • manjoguy

    So the argument goes that gay men can’t shower with straight men. So, all gynecologists should be female?!

  • darkanser

    Naturally a lot of this stems from straight people not knowing who among us is gay — the default assumption that everyone’s straight and if not we can always tell…LOL. For a lot of people, their understanding of gay people hasn’t matured an iota from since high school. Thankfully, this is becoming less and less common.

  • LadyL

    @EdWoody: @darkanser: Wish I had a “Like” button for you both! Well said!

  • LadyL

    And thank you, Sir Charles. :-)

  • Respect4all

    “Homophobia is the fear that gay men will treat you the way you treat women”. What are they afraid of? That their dicks will shrivel up and fall off if a queer looks at it?

  • LadyL

    @Respect4all: Whoa, great quote! Where’s it from?

  • charwegl

    Between Charles, Cam saying what he did today and Auburn’s head coach saying he’d welcome any gay player to his locker room, it really makes me feel proud to be a graduate of Auburn! Comments like this prove that not all institutions and people in the south are homophobic.

  • Tackle

    @Kieran: Leave it to you to try and get in a [email protected]#l jab, under the guise of a supportive comment. Your game is tired and old.

  • Sebizzar

    It’s definitely ridiculous how it’s even up for discussion. Since Michael came out, all I hear on ESPN is how other players will feel in the locker rooms. They simply need to grow up and get over it, we already know some have the mindset of a 13 year old. Thankfully, as shown, they are in the minority now.

    Btw, great comments! Queerty does need a ‘like’ button :)

Comments are closed.