NBA great Charles Barkley has never been one to silence his own controversial opinions, but this time he has some advice that many in the nation should listen to.
Barkley, a lifelong Democrat who voted for Hillary Clinton this year, told his audience that he was shocked by the results, but ready to give Donald Trump a chance.
“Well, Ernie. It’s been kind of shell-shock, to be honest with you, the last 48 hours with Mr. Trump becoming the president. I was in shock, I’m not gonna lie. I was totally surprised at the election results. That being said, we’ve got to move on.
I was disappointed because my candidate didn’t win, number one. But like I said, it’s over now. He’s going to be the president of the United States. We’ve got to respect the office, and we have to give him a chance. That’s the bottom line."
He continued, saying that he respects the office of the president, and he's ready for a new era:
“Somebody always loses an election. We’ve been fortunate that we’ve won the last couple with President Obama. We didn’t win this one. But like I said, I respect the office of the president of the United States, and we have to give him a chance. Everything he’s said in the past, that’s water under the bridge.
We have to give him a chance, and we have to support him because he’s the president of the United States of America.”
This whole speech by Barkley was not the only political statement made by the hosts of “NBA on TNT” yesterday. Fellow sportscasters Shaq, Kenny Smith, and Ernie Johnson all had something to say in response to the landmark election.
But it is Johnson's response that is being seen as the perhaps the most insightful. A devout Christian, Johnson spoke about his struggles as a voter this election and while he did not vote for Trump, he is praying that the Republican is a better president than he first thought.
His response has garnered over 50,000 retweets since yesterday.
Take a look:
“When this campaign season started, I felt like I had been dealt a bad hand. I had these couple of choices and there were trust issues with Hillary Clinton. I couldn’t get past and there was this inflammatory rhetoric from Donald Trump which, to me, was incomprehensible and indefensible. I couldn’t vote for either one. For the first time in going to the polls in 42 years, I hit the write-in button and I voted for John Kasich and I left knowing that John Kasich wasn’t going to win, but I left with a clear conscience cause I hadn’t settled.”
Johnson was encouraged by the meeting between Trump and Obama that took place Thursday at the White House:
"Number two, I’m hopeful. I watched the video today on CNN of what was going on at the White House with Donald Trump, President Obama. I was hopeful and I was encouraged that there will be a difference between the President Trump, and the campaigning Trump and I’m with these guys.
We have to give him a chance, but here’s the deal. I just hope that he’s all in on fixing the wounds in this country and the divides that separate this country and I want to be a part of that too and for me to be part of it, I have to look in the mirror and I have to say: 'How am I going to be a better man? How am I going to be a better neighbor? How am I going to be a better citizen? How am I going to be a better American? How can I be a fountain and not a drain?'"
Finally, Johnson broke the golden rule of any dinner party and turned his sights on religion and how it's going to affect his life moving forward — and how it can heal the nation:
"Number three...I never know from one election to the next who’s going to be in the Oval Office, but I always know who’s on the throne and I’m on this Earth because God created me and that’s who I answer to. I’m a Christian. I follow this guy named Jesus. You may have heard of Him and the greatest commandment He gave me was to love others and Scripture also tells us to pray for our leaders and that’s what I’m going to do.
I’m going to pray for Donald Trump. I’m going to pray for all those people who feel like they’re on the outside looking in who are afraid at this point. Pray for them too. In short, I’m praying for America and I’m praying that one day, we’re going to look back and say you know what? That Donald Trump presidency? That was alright, but I’m praying."
Suddenly, it sounds the hosts of a basketball talk show have become some of the most rational people in America.