Former NBA star Charles Barkley has said that the victory of Doug Jones in Alabama should serve as a wake-up call for the Democrats.
Jones, a Democrat, defeated Republican candidate Roy Moore 49.9 percent of the vote to 48.4 percent, Rolling Stone reported.
"Well, this is a wake-up call for Democrats," Barkley said, according to the Independent Journal Review. "Your 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*s 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. We got it 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, who is a member of the NBA Hall of Fame, also spoke about the result's impact on his home state.
"This is a great night for Alabama," added Barkley, according to Rolling Stone. "We've been stuck in a time warp for a long time. This is just a great night for Alabama and for Doug Jones. I just want to thank everybody who worked on Doug's campaign, everybody who came out to vote today."
He also had strong words for Moore.
"First of all, Roy Moore was an embarrassment," said Barkley. "If any other man had eight women accusing him of sexual harassment, talking about how he really enjoyed slavery, he thinks people who are homosexuals should go to jail, they wouldn't have even been in this election. This is more of a referendum on the state of Alabama, and I'm just so proud of my state."
Moore did not concede the election to Jones Dec. 12 and has indicated he could seek a recount of votes.
Jones' victory was the first time a Democrat had won a Senate race in the state since 1992. He enjoyed overwhelming support from black voters, with nine out of 10 backing him.
"We knew the importance of minority votes," Jones said at a press conference Dec. 13, according to CBS News.
Jones said the first politician to contact him following the result was Luther Strange, the Republican Jones will replace in the Senate. Jones also stated that he received a "gracious" phone call from President Donald Trump congratulating him, and calls from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Alabama has delivered "a message of inclusiveness, a message of equality, a message of dignity and respect," stated Jones.