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December 12, 2017

Charles Barkley feels 'nervous' about Alabama special election

Ex-Sixers star and Alabama native blasted Republican Roy Moore and his supporters while campaigning for Democrat Doug Jones

Alabamian and former Sixers star Charles Barkley had some choice words for his home state ahead of Tuesday's special Senate election.

Barkley, who is supporting Democrat Doug Jones, told CNN anchor Don Lemon on Monday night that he's "nervous, nervous" that Jones' opponent, Republican Roy Moore, may pull off a victory. Moore has faced sexual misconduct allegations from at least eight women, four of whom were between ages 14 and 17 at the times of the alleged assaults or harassments.

"I can't believe we're in this situation where the people of Alabama are going to turn a blind eye to all the accusations, all the rhetoric, all the racist B.S.," Barkley said.

The Pro Basketball Hall-of-Famer also blasted a notable Moore campaigner, Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump's former chief strategist.

"Steve Bannon was down here today," Barkley said, calling Bannon a white separatist. "I can't believe the people of Alabama will let them get away with that, to be honest with you."

Earlier on Monday, while campaigning for Jones in Birmingham, Barkley told a crowd of Jones supporters that "we've got to stop looking like idiots to the nation."

"Listen, I love Alabama, but at some point, we've got to draw a line in the sand so we're not a bunch of damn idiots," Barkley said. "People are looking at us like, 'They're actually thinking about voting for this guy?'"

Barkley, an NBA analyst on TNT, told Lemon that Alabama residents have been "held down for so long."

"They hide under the umbrella of religion," he said. "I'm looking at Roy Moore ads, and they're the same ads I saw 30 years ago. Against gay marriage, against abortion, against any form of illegal immigration. And talking about 'If you believe in God, the Washington insiders don't like you.' It's the same religious facts that they've been using to win elections.

"I wish, sometimes, that people would look past their religious beliefs and just try to do the right thing ... This is 2017. We're already behind the times here in Alabama. It's just sad, more than anything. We need to get everybody out and vote for Doug Jones. It's a really big deal."

He also noted the media coverage of the race is centered on the 70-year-old Moore and the allegations against him rather than the Senate seat itself.

"They're in shock," he said of reporters covering the race. "They can't believe that these people are going to elect Roy Moore. They're here to see a train wreck. I don't think they really care who's a senator in Alabama."

A clip of a portion of Barkley's interview on Lemon's "CNN Tonight" can be viewed below.