"The only people who are not vaccinated are just a**holes."
Charles Barkley is taking a strong stance on the COVID-19 vaccine ... saying the NBA -- as well as all other pro sports leagues -- should make it a requirement in order to compete.
As we previously reported, the NFL announced a policy that will penalize teams with potential fines and forfeited games if an unvaccinated player causes a coronavirus outbreak ... guidelines that had superstar DeAndre Hopkins tweeting about contemplating retirement.
The 58-year-old Hall of Famer says the virus is too serious to give people an option.
"Can you imagine if one of these guys that are not vaccinated, if they get one of these players’ kids, wives, girlfriends, moms and dads sick and they die over some unnecessary conspiracy bull****?," Barkley said, according to CNBC. "I think that would be tragic."
Chuck says players need to treat their careers like those with regular day jobs ... and there will be things they don't always want to do, but have to.
"There’s s*** you can’t do at work and there’s s*** that you have to do at work," Barkley added.
"So every workplace has rules and I think one of the rules [should be] that guys have to be vaccinated."