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Location: Kansas City, Missouri, United States

Doing my part to irritate Republicans, fundamentalists, bigots and other lower life forms.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Even after NBA career, Charles Barkley is still scoring turnovers

As I've made mention before, my knowledge of sports is infinitesimal. But enough has seeped in over the years that I do know that Charles Barkley was a professional basketball player.

Now I've got another reason to remember the former NBA MVP. (I feel so butch when I toss around sports acronyms like that!) In an interview that airs this Sunday on the Fox network's SportsNet's "Chris Meyers Interview," Barkley is likely to make Republican sports fan shudder and drop their jaws like a fumbled pass. In that interview, he'll announce that: 1) he's no longer a Republican; 2) he's considering a run for the governorship of his home state of Alabama; and 3) he supports the idea of gay marriage.

While it's long been difficult to understand how any African-American (other than modern-day Step-N-Fetchits like Supreme Court Justice and porn connoisseur Clarence Thomas or Secretary of State Condaleeze Rice) could vote Republican, the GOP has been only too happy to use Barkley as a poster-jock to entice blacks to forego their own interests and vote for the party of big business, big oil and big drug companies.

I doubt they will be doing that any more. According to an Associated Press account of the interview:

Barkley was a Republican until recently, saying he switched parties when the Republicans “lost their minds.” He said he is troubled by some of the actions of people in the United States in the name of religion.

“Religious people in general are so discriminatory against other people, and that really disturbs me,” he said. “My idea of religion is we all love and respect. We all sin, but we still have common decency and respect for other people. So right now I’m struggling with my idea of what religion is.”

Ouch! Don't look for Barkley to be invited to the White House any time soon. And it's probably a safe bet he won't be invited on the religiously insane Pat Robertson's "700 Club" either.

For gays and lesbians, even more astounding than Barkley political epiphany is his views on gay marriage. He supports the idea. In the interview he says, “I think if they want to get married, God bless them. Gay marriage is probably 1 percent of the population, so it’s not like it’s going to be an epidemic. Hey, trust me, I’m never going to kiss you and say, ‘Chris, you’re sexy.”’

Score one for our side.

When Republican operatives try to stir up African-American congregations on the "evils of homo-seck-shul marriage" and hand out cash from the so-called Faith Based Initiative as barely concealed bribes, it's refreshing to see major black role model stand up to the GOP.