Hall of Famer Charles Barkley has never shied away from his Alabama roots. So when he felt strongly about supporting Doug Jones in the Alabama senate race, he headed down to his home state to help him campaign.
Jones pulled off an upset victory on Tuesday night, and Barkley was among the first to celebrate the win. He appeared on CNN, where he said the win was a "wake-up call" for Democrats.
"I'm so proud of my state. They rose up today," Barkley said. "This is a wake-up call for Democrats. ... 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 ass and start making life better for black folks and people who are poor. 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."
Barkley, a native of Leeds, spoke at Jones' final campaign rally on Monday night in Birmingham. He implored his home state to think about the way the country perceives them.
"At some point we have got to stop looking like idiots to the nation," Barkley said.