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Sportscaster Offers Hopes, Prayers After Election

By Brian Lonergan | November 11, 2016 | 12:34pm EST

Video of sportscaster Ernie Johnson has spread quickly on social media since he gave a heartfelt, faith-based message to the nation after a bruising presidential election campaign ended.

“We have to give him a chance,” Johnson said of President-elect Donald Trump.

During TNT’s NBA show on Nov. 10, commentators including Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith weighed in with their thoughts on the election upset. Johnson followed with a message of unity for the divided nation.

 

 

“I just hope that [Trump] is all in, in fixing the wounds in this country and the divides that separate this country,” he said. “And I want to be 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?”

Johnson said he was disillusioned with both major party candidates during the campaign.  

“For the first time in going to the polls for 42 years, I hit the write-in button and I voted for John Kasich,” Johnson said. “And I left knowing that John Kasich wasn’t going to win, but I left with a clear conscience because I hadn’t settled.”

Looking forward, Johnson said his faith is guiding his hope for the country.

“I’m a Christian,” he said. “I follow this guy named Jesus. You might 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 right now 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.”

Johnson has hosted TNT’s “Inside the NBA” program since 1990. He is also the voice of major league baseball on TBS.

The complete text of Johnson’s statement is below:

“When this campaign season started, I felt like I’d 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 for 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 because I hadn’t settled.

“Number two, I’m hopeful. I watched the video today at CNN on what was going on at the White House with Donald Trump and 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, in fixing the wounds in this country and the divides that separate this country. And I want to be 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?

“And number three, I know you’re not supposed to talk about politics and religion, but we’re already talking about politics so I’m going to go the 'R' direction, too. 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 might 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 right now 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 we’re going to say, ‘You know what? That Donald Trump presidency? That was alright. But I’m praying.”     

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