Former National Basketball Association (NBA) player Charles Barkley came out in support of Anheuser-Busch brand Bud Light.
Barkley defended the adult beverage brand during Nevada’s American Century Championship at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course.
The former NBA star also slammed critics of transgenderism.
“I want y’all to drink this f***ing beer,” Barkley said. “I want y’all to drink this f***ing beer. I got three cases of Bud Light.”
“Hey, and I want to say this — if you’re gay, bless you,” he continued. “If you’re transgender, bless you. And, if you have a problem with that, f*** you!”
Charles Barkley providing another reason to not drink Bud Light. pic.twitter.com/vNn2UUxUph
— CCBee (@SeaSeaBee) July 16, 2023
Barkley made similar remarks during last year’s Nevada American Century Championship, though did not mention the beer brand.
one time for charles barkley 😤😤pic.twitter.com/EoNSBVPboG
— mike taddow 🆓 (@MikeTaddow) July 15, 2022
Bud Light received backlash after sponsoring transgender activist and TikTok influencer Dylan Mulvaney earlier this year as sales have plummeted another 23.7% for the week ending July 8, per Newsweek.
After nearly a month of silence, Mulvaney addressed critics saying there was “no way of winning over everyone.
“Dehumanization has never fixed anything in history ever,” Mulvaney said, admitting the TikTok influencer was “nervous” supporters would believe claims from critics. “I’m just gonna go ahead and trust that the people who know me and my heart won’t listen to that noise.”
In late June, Mulvaney addressed the backlash over Bud Light’s sponsorship by further criticizing the brand for not supporting the transgender activist.
Mulvaney said for Bud Light to hire a transgender-identifying person and not publicly stand by them through backlash was equivalent to not hiring a transgender-identifying person at all.
“It gives customers permission to be as transphobic and hateful as they want,” Mulvaney said, noting the “hate” didn’t end with the TikTok influencer. “It has serious and grave consequences for the rest of our community.”
Mulvaney suggested transgender-identifying people were also customers of Bud Light.
“I know a lot of trans and queer people who love beer,” the TikTok influencer said. “I have some lesbian friends who could drink some of those haters under the table.”
“To turn a blind eye and pretend everything is okay, it just isn’t an option right now,” Mulvaney said. “There should be nothing controversial or divisive about working with us.”
Mulvaney referenced positive experiences accepting brand deals from other companies saying, “caring about the LGBTQ+ community requires a lot more than just a donation somewhere during Pride month.”
“We remain committed to the programs and partnerships we have forged over decades with organizations across a number of communities, including those in the LGBTQ+ community,” an Anheuser-Busch spokesperson said in response to Mulvaney’s criticism. “The privacy and safety of our employees and our partners is always our top priority. As we move forward, we will focus on what we do best — brewing great beer for everyone and earning our place in moments that matter to our consumers.”