Always candid and often comedic, Barkley has professed his support for gay marriage and gay rights in his own endearing style for many years. In 2006, Barkley said: "I think if they want to get married, God bless them. Gay marriage is probably one percent of the population, so it's not like it's going to be an epidemic." On air in 2011, he said: "God bless the gay people. They are great people." And in response to Sean Avery's advocacy, Barkley added that he wouldn't have a problem playing with an openly gay teammate.