Ernie Johnson is a studio host for the NBA. He can be seen several times a week bantering with the likes of Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal. He plays the straight man among the comics who masquerade as basketball analysts. It makes for great light-hearted fun. At least it did – until Mr. Johnson shared his unbridled response to the presidential election. What he said is shocking, to say the least.
On the air two nights after the election, Johnson first lamented the negative tone of the election. He said he felt like he had been “dealt a bad hand.” He said he did not vote for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, citing his “inflammatory rhetoric” and her “trust issues.” He wrote in Ohio Governor John Kasich’s name, instead.
Then Johnson voiced his hope for a more positive Trump going forward. And that’s where things got interesting.
“I know you’re not supposed to talk about politics and religion but we’re already talking about politics so I’m gonna go the ‘R’ direction, too. I never know from one election to the next who’s gonna 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 a 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. And I’m going to pray for those people who feel like they’re on the outside looking in, who are afraid at this point. I’ll pray for them, too. In short, I’m praying for America, and I’m praying that one day we’re gonna look back and we’re gonna say, ‘You know what? That Donald Trump presidency? That was all right.'”
The Bible says, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God” (Psalm 20:7). I am so grateful that an NBA analyst, speaking before tens of millions of sports fans, gets it – and more importantly, that he said it.