After Donald J. Trump stunned America with his election win Tuesday night, NBA analyst Ernie Johnson said he will rely on his faith in the upcoming year and pray that those in power will faithfully lead the country.
On Thursday, Johnson, an outspoken Christian, said that even though he did not vote for Trump - he said he wrote in Ohio Gov. John Kasich - he is not discouraged by the billionaire businessman's surprising win and is committed to praying for the President-Elect.
"I never know from one election to the next, who's going to be in the Oval Office," he said. "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."
He added, "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."
Johnson concluded: "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.'"
The analyst, who spoke during a pre-game segment in which he and the other panelists gave their thoughts on the election results, admitted that when the campaign season started, he, like many other Christians, felt like he had been dealt a bad hand.
"I had these couple of choices, and there were trust issues with Hillary Clinton I couldn't get past," he said. "And there was this inflammatory rhetoric from Donald Trump which to me was incomprehensible and indefensible. I couldn't vote for either one."
However, after watching on television Trump and President Obama meet in the White House Thursday, Johnson said he is "hopeful."
"I was hopeful and I was encouraged that there will be a difference between the President Trump and the campaigning Trump," Johnson said. "... We have to give him a chance. But here's the deal. I just hope that's 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 a 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?"
The comments by the "NBA on TNT" host quickly went viral, receiving more than 61,000 re-Tweets and 74,000 likes on the NBA on TNT Twitter feed by Friday morning.
Johnson thanked his fans for their support, tweeting, "So appreciate all the responses to our pre game show tonight. Wish I could answer them all, but that's impossible. But thank you so much."