Charles Barkley was thrilled voters in his native Alabama seemed to listen to him by voting for Doug Jones and he’s now calling on the new senator to not take that for granted.
During an interview with CNN following Jones’ victory in the U.S. Senate special election, Barkley used his platform to say the moment was “a wake-up call.”
“This is a wake-up call for Democrats. And I told Mr. Jones this, and I love Doug, they’ve taken the black vote and the poor vote for granted for a long time. It’s time for them to get off their a– and start making life better for black folks and people who are poor,” Barkley said. “They’ve always had our votes, and they’ve abused our votes, and this is a wake-up call. We’re in a great position now, but this is a wake-up call for Democrats to do better for black people and poor white people.”
Prior to Tuesday’s election, the retired NBA star ripped Republican candidate Roy Moore over allegations he sexually assaulted and harassed women, including some who were teenagers.
Moore has denied the claims.
Barkley appeared at a rally for Jones and said it was “unbelievable” Moore was still even in the race with all the allegations against him.
“At some point, we’ve got to stop looking like idiots to the nation,” Barkley said.
The 54-year-old also said he’s embarrassed by the state’s history of electing deeply conservative lawmakers.
Jones won the election over Moore Tuesday and became the first Democrat to win a Senate seat in the state in 20 years.
“We have shown not just around the state of Alabama, but we have shown the country the way – that we can be unified,” Jones said after his win.