A video in which 11-time NBA All-Star Charles Barkley proudly declared his loyalty and affection for the LGBTQ+ community has gone viral.
During an appearance at Harveys Lake Tahoe hotel and casino located in Stateline, Nevada, the 59-year-old told the attending crowd, “If you’re gay or transgender, I love you.”
In the same breath, he demonstrated having no patience for bigotry and yelled, “And if anyone gives you any sh*t, tell ’em Charles says f'k you!"
His slam dunk statement was met with raucous cheers and applause.
Crank up the volume.
The clip was originally posted by TikTok user I. banana earlier this month and later blew up on Twitter.
Many users lauded their ally for his unwavering solidarity with LGBTQ+ people.
Barkley has long been a supporter of marginalized people.
In 2016, he spoke out against North Carolina’s bathroom bill, a.k.a. House Bill 2–which would have prevented transgender people from using the restroom consistent with their gender identity.
He even called for the relocation of the NBA's 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte, North Carolina.
As an advocate of LGBTQ+ equality, Barkley said in a 2006 interview on Fox Sports:
"I'm a big advocate of gay marriage. If they want to get married, God bless them."
Two years later on CNN, he told Wolf Blitzer about his thoughts on conservative Evangelical Christians.
"Every time I hear the word 'conservative,' it makes me sick to my stomach, because they're really just fake Christians, as I call them."
"That's all they are. ... I think they want to be judge and jury. Like, I'm for gay marriage. It's none of my business if gay people want to get married."
"I think these Christians, first of all, they're not supposed to judge other people. But they're the most hypocritical judge of people we have in the country."
"And it bugs the hell out of me. They act like they're Christians. They're not forgiving at all."