Friday, May 13, 2011
The 31-year-old hockey player currently with the New York Rangers recorded a video released on Saturday for the Human Rights Campaign's (HRC) New Yorkers for Marriage Equality campaign.
The endorsement was panned by Todd Reynolds, who represents several NHL players and Canadian-based cabler Rogers Sportsnet on-air personality Damian Goddard. On Wednesday, Sportsnet fired Goddard.
The 48-year-old Barkley dished on the controversy during an appearance on SiriusXM Radio.
“If somebody is gay, that's their own business,” Barkley said. “But it bothers me how people try to say that jocks are not going to like a gay.”
“I think gay people should be allowed to get married and God bless them, that's their own business.”
“Listen, if a guy can't play that's the only time we don't want to play with him,” he added. “We don't care about all that extracurricular stuff.”
This is the second time Barkley has offered support for gay rights. During a January pre-game tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. broadcast on TNT before the Los Angeles Lakers took on the Oklahoma City Thunder, Barkley said he loved gay people.
“People try to make it about black and white. He talked about equality for every man, every woman. We have a thing going on now – people discriminating against homosexuals in this country. I love the people. God bless the gay people. They are great people. We have discrimination against Hispanics in this country right now. We need to answer to that.”