The Westboro Baptist Church is just a bunch of "awful people" ... and Charles Barkley says he hopes they all get their asses kicked for boycotting an openly gay basketball player.
We asked Sir Charles how he felt about the church targeting Seton Hall's Derrick Gordon -- the first openly gay man to play in the NCAA tournament ... and Chuck went off!!!
"I really hate them sumbitches," Barkley said ... "Hopefully, somebody will beat the hell out of those Westboro people."
Barkley also had some great advice for Gordon ... you HAVE to watch this clip.