Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley always keeps it real.

While playing in a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe, the Pro Basketball Hall of Famer made a strong stand for the LGBTQ+ community, probing thirsty onlookers to cool off with some refreshing sips of Bud Light.

“Drink this. I want ya’ll to drink this f**ing beer,” Barkley said. “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!”

It’s hard to be clearer than that.

Bud Light, of course, has become one of the most polarizing brands in America, due to its short-lived partnership with transgender TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney. Way back in April, Bud Light teamed up with Mulvaney for a couple of social media ads, and MAGA crybabies have been whining ever since. 

With that context in mind, many high-profile pro athletes and figures have opted to stay away from endorsing the beer brand.

But not Barkley.

All you rednecks or a**holes who don’t want to drink Bud Light — f*** y’all!,” he said. “I ain’t worried about getting canceled.”

With a spot in the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame and TV contract that pays him more than $10 million annually, it’s safe to say that Barkley is confident in his standing.

This is the second time in as many years that Barkley has made an impassioned stand for LGBTQ+ people at the American Century Championship in Tahoe. Last summer, Barkley affirmed his love for LGBTQ+ folx, and disdain for bigotry.

“I want to say this: if you’re gay, or transgender, I love you,” he exclaimed. “And if anybody gives you s***, you tell them Charles says ‘f*** you!'”

Barkley, who works as TNT’s lead NBA studio analyst and will debut a new primetime show on CNN this fall, has a distinguished history of standing up for gay rights. Way back in 2011, the 11-time All-Star said he played with gay teammates in the NBA, and their sexuality was never an issue.

“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,'” said Barkley at the time. “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 is also a long-time proponent of same-sex marriage and has campaigned against bathroom bills that bar transgender people from using public restrooms that correspond with their gender identity.

When Jason Collins publicly came out as gay in 2013–becoming the first out active NBA player ever–Sir Charles threw his full support behind him.

“I think it takes great courage to come out,” he said.

Years later, Barkley also publicly backed NFL lineman Carl Nassib when he came out, wearing his jersey to commemorate his first game as an out gay man.

With right-wing celebrities feigning outrage at Bud Light for months, it’s nice to see major sports stars support the embattled brand. Earlier this month, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce starred in a Bud Light commercial, conservative backlash be damned.

A perusal through social media will show that Barkley ticked off his fair share of right-wingers. But he just doesn’t care.

What a beautiful thing.

Scroll down for more reaction to Barkley’s commendable stand…

Don't forget to share:

Help make sure LGBTQ+ stories are being told...

We can't rely on mainstream media to tell our stories. That's why we don't lock Queerty articles behind a paywall. Will you support our mission with a contribution today?

Cancel anytime · Proudly LGBTQ+ owned and operated