Former NBA star Charles Barkley is putting his wallet to action in his home state by donating $1 million dollars to African-American women business owners.
During a Thursday segment on TNT’s “Inside The NBA,” Barkley announced his pledge as a tribute to Black women who came out in significant numbers to secure the win for Democrat Doug Jones in Alabama’s special senatorial election on Tuesday.
“I’m proud of my people in Alabama, they really stood up this weekend. Alabama, that’s my home. I am pledging $1 million dollars to Black women in Alabama to start I.T. startups,” he said. “Black women really came out and supported Doug Jones.”
Barkley also couldn’t help but slide in a backhanded joke as he continued. “That does not mean hair salons and restaurants. We’re going to do’ I.T.’ and that don’t mean ‘it,’” Barkley said.
In the past the former NBA all-star has had trouble vocalizing his stance in the Black community sometimes playing into respectability politics, especially when it comes to the national conversation regarding law enforcement and communities of color.
But during a CNN interview on Tuesday, Barkley changed his tone by calling out the democratic party and its reliance on Black voters.
“I’m so proud of my state. 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,” he said. “It’s time for them to get off their ass and start making life better for black folks and people who are poor,” he continued.