NBA legend Charles Barkley celebrated Democratic Alabama Senate candidate Doug Jones' projected victory over Republican opponent Roy Moore on Tuesday, but warned Democrats to consider the apparent win "a wake-up call" against taking black and poor votes for granted.
"They've taken the black vote and the poor vote for granted for a long time," Barkley told CNN, referring to the Democratic Party. "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 have abused our votes, and this is a wake-up call," Barkley added.
The retired NBA power forward and Alabama native stumped for Jones on the campaign trial in the lead-up to the special election, calling calling Moore "a white separatist."
Barkley said, in his opinion, voter turnout was driven by a dislike of Moore, whom he derided as "an embarrassment."
But he added issues like healthcare, education and infrastructure also factored into decisions at the ballot box.
"I'm just so proud of my state," he said. "I love my state. We got some amazing people here. Yeah, we got a bunch of rednecks and a bunch of ignorant people, but we got some amazing people here and they rose up today."
Former NBA player Charles Barkley: "Roy Moore was an embarrassment ... I am just so proud of my state. They rose up today" https://t.co/0rnde9e0ae— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) December 13, 2017
Though Barkley celebrated what many outlets, including the Washington Examiner, declared as a successful night for Jones, Moore said Tuesday night that he will not concede the contest and floated a possible recount.