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Former NBA star Charles Barkley said “if you’re gay and transgender, I love you!”, with footage of the remark rapidly spreading on Twitter.
“I want to say this: If you’re gay and transgender, I love you! Hey and if anybody give you sh–, you tell them Charles said ‘F–k you!’” he said, according to a video that appeared to be posted on TikTok, eliciting cheers as he spoke.
The footage, which circulated on social media over the weekend, indicated that the location was Harveys Lake Tahoe, which is a casino and hotel located in Stateline, Nev.
Barkley has been a vocal critic of anti-LGBT legislation, including in 2016 when he spoke out against a North Carolina law that barred transgender people from using the bathroom that aligned with their gender identity and instead required them to use the one that aligned with their biological sex.
He called for the 2017 All-Star Game that was set to take place in Charlotte to be moved because of the legislation. The National Basketball Association (NBA) later relocated the event.
“I think anytime you’re Black, you got to stand up for other people because you – Black people know what discrimination is like. And if you’re in a position of power, you got to always stand up against discrimination. And I’m blessed man, and … I’m never gonna sit back and let discrimination happen on my watch,” Barkley told Ellen DeGeneres in an interview in 2020 about his protesting the location of the All-Star Game.