Charles Barkley: Gays Can Play Ball

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on May 13 2011 1:10 PM ET

Former NBA MVP and commentator Charles Barkley said that openly gay professional athletes would most likely be accepted by team mates based on their skills on the court, rather than their sexual orientation.

"If somebody is gay, that's their own business," he said on SiriusXM Radio Thursday. "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. We don't care about all that extracurricular stuff."

Barkley was asked for his thoughts on gay athletes after New York Rangers star Sean Avery got involved in campaigning for marriage equality.