Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley on Monday spoke out in support of Michael Sam.

Sam, 24, came out last week in interviews with ESPN and The New York Times. The college football player is a strong NFL draft prospect. If drafted, Sam would become the NFL's first openly gay player.

“I think it's an insult to gay people to think that they are going to be looking at their teammates in a sexual way,” Barkley told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. “That's an insult to all gay men. And we welcome them to the locker room, and I wish Mr. Sam the best.”

When asked how a gay player would be received in an NBA locker room, Barkley answered: “I think they're going to be safe with their teammates. I think the public at large is more homophobic than guys in the locker room. I think we as players get a bad rap.”

Barkley went on to reiterate that gay and lesbian couples deserve the same benefits as heterosexual couples. (The video is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)

In 2011, Barkley announced his support for marriage equality, saying he loves gay people.

(Related: Charles Barkley says Martin Luther King supported gay rights.)