NBA legend Charles Barkley has a message for transphobes and homophobes over Bud Light controversy

Charles Barkley

Sports pundit and NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley has a message for anti-LGBTQ+ bigots: “F**k you.”

The NBA legend and longtime supporter of LGBTQ+ rights delivered a passionate speech at a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe, Nevada – the same venue where he shared a similar message in solidarity with the community only a year previously. 

Barkley took the opportunity to weigh in on the controversy surrounding Bud Light after the beer brand sent a personalised can to trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney in April, to celebrate the one-year anniversary of her ‘Days of Girlhood’ TikTok series.

Bud Light’s partnering with a trans woman saw conservatives across the US vow to boycott the beer, with some even filmed smashing shelves of bottles, or videoing themselves destroying or pouring away Bud Light.

The 60-year-old former NBA star made it clear that he has no time for bigots who avoid Bud Light because of the Mulvaney collaboration.

In a speech at the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship Tournament, he said: “I want y’all to drink this f**king beer. I got three cases of Bud Light.

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“And I want to say this: if you’re gay, bless you. If you’re transgender, bless you. And, if you have a problem with that, f*** you!”

Barkley shared a similar sentiment at the same celebrity golf tournament in 2022, saying: “If you’re gay or transgender, I love you – and if anyone gives you s**t, tell them Charles said ‘F**k you!’”

An eleven-time NBA All-Star, Barkley was also an 11-time member of the All-NBA Team, named the NBA’s most valuable player (MVP) 1993 and two-time Olympic gold medal winner as part of the US national team. 

After retiring from professional basketball, Barkley found further success as an NBA analyst for TNT on Inside the NBA, winning four Sports Emmy Awards for his punditry. 

The Phoenix Suns legend has long been a vocal supporter of the LGBTQ+ community, telling Fox Sports back in 2006 that he’s a “big advocate of gay marriage”. In 2011, Barkley told a DC radio station that he played pro basketball alongside gay teammates, and never had an issue with it.

Barkley explained to the station that he takes issue with the idea that sports players are inherently anti-LGBTQ+, saying: “First of all, society discriminates against gay people. They always try to make it like jocks discriminate against gay people.

“I’ve been a big proponent of gay marriage for a long time, because as a Black person, I can’t be in for any form of discrimination at all.”

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