Jonathan Isaac is the first player with the chutzpah to stand up and not cave to participate in the rest of the NBA’s performative slactivism.
Isaac, a forward with the Orlando Magic, decided to forego the BLM shirt for his jersey and remain standing during the national anthem before the game with the Brooklyn Nets. He was the first player in the NBA “bubble” to not kneel.
Jonathan Isaac chose to stand for the National Anthem without a BLM shirt
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) July 31, 2020
Some speculated that it might have been because he has just returned to the court following a knee injury he sustained in January.
As some have pointed out, it might have something to do with his knee. It may very well. We just might have to ask him when we get the chance. No judgments.
— Orlando Magic Daily (@OMagicDaily) July 31, 2020
After the game, the first question Isaac was asked was (predictably) if he believed that “black lives matter” because he didn’t participate in the mandatory penitential pose while donning the requisite BLM sackcloth.
ISAAC: Absolutely [I believe] that Black lives matter. A lot went into my decision and part of it is my thought that kneeling or wearing a “Black Lives Matter” t-shirt don’t go hand-in-hand with supporting black lives. My life has been supported by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Everyone is made in the image of God and we all share in His glory. Each and every one of us each and every day do things we shouldn’t do. We say things we shouldn’t say. We hate and dislike people that we shouldn’t hate and dislike. And sometimes, it gets to the point where we point fingers about whose evil is worse, and sometimes it comes down to simply whose evil is most visible. I felt like I wanted just take a stand on–I felt like we all make mistakes but I think the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that there’s grace for us. And that Jesus came and died for our sins. And that we all will come to an understanding of that and that God wants to have a relationship with us.
After the game the first question he fielded was "Do you believe Black Lives Matter?"
He responded: "Absolutely."
Full answer: pic.twitter.com/SNBVar7pg7
— Daren Stoltzfus (@DarenStoltzfus) July 31, 2020
Taylor Rooks from Bleacher Report was the one that asked the question and posted her own video which includes her follow-up question asking what religion has to do with protesting racism and police brutality.
I asked Jonathan Isaac two questions:
You didn’t kneel during the anthem but you also didn’t wear a black lives matter shirt. Do you believe black lives matter?
Can you explain what religion has to do with kneeling for the anthem to protest against racism and police brutality? pic.twitter.com/me61FleWPY
— Taylor Rooks (@TaylorRooks) July 31, 2020
Some in the media are praising Isaac for standing up for what he believes while others are dismissing his reasons as “nonsense”, but what isn’t getting reported very often is that Isaac spoke to the coach and the rest of the team about it beforehand and everyone respected his decision.
Mike Bianchi of The Orlando Sentinel mentioned it in his opinion piece:
He talked with his Magic teammates and coaches before he made the decision and he said they all supported him. Said Magic coach Steve Clifford, who knelt with the team on Friday: “That was Jonathan’s personal decision. If guys are not comfortable kneeling and they want to stand, nobody has a problem with that. That’s part of living in our country.”
Said Isaac: “My teammates know who I am and what I believe as a person and they respected me for the decision. For me, personally it’s not coming from a position of wanting to be popular or wanting to be seen; it all came down to what’s in my heart. I stake my flag with Jesus.”
The controversy over Isaac’s decision just goes to show how the world has been turned upside down in the past few weeks. It wasn’t so long ago that Kaepernick became an outcast for kneeling during the national anthem and now Jonathan Isaac actually has to explain himself because he is standing for the national anthem.
Source: Orlando Sentinel
Although Isaac is taking some flak for his decision, he’s also getting kudos.
We’ve said people should be able to exercise their right to kneel during the National Anthem and we should listen & hear their reasons why. When Jonathan Isaac chooses to stand we should do the same. He explained his reasons very clearly-he wants to stand in prayer. I say Amen!🙏🏽 https://t.co/lu0JZR0SYh
— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) July 31, 2020
Associated Press sports reporter, Tim Reynolds, explains a bit of Isaac’s background and why choosing not to kneel may not be so surprising. He also mentions that as Isaac stood, he prayed.
Jonathan Isaac is an ordained minister, someone who gave money to make sure kids got fed when COVID closed schools, led a drive to support Hurricane Dorian victims and donates to Central Florida literacy programs.
And as he stood during the anthem today, he prayed.
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) July 31, 2020
Isaac tweeted this morning:
“This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.”
I Timothy 1:15 NKJV
— Jonathan Isaac (@JJudahIsaac) August 1, 2020
Isaac seems like a pretty awesome guy.
Oh, and for you B-ball fans out there…
Isaac finished the game with 16 points and six rebounds in 16 minutes as the Magic won, 128-118.
Source: Sports Illustrated
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