Orlando Magic power forward Jonathan Isaac was the only player in the NBA who stood during the national anthem on Friday before his team’s game against the Brooklyn Nets. Isaac, who is also an ordained Christian Minister was also the only one who refused to wear a ‘Black Lives Matter’ warm-up jersey.
During a post-game press conference, Isaac was asked, “Do you believe that black lives matter?”
He replied “Absolutely. I believe that black lives matter. A lot went into my decision … kneeling or wearing a Black Lives Matter T-shirt don’t go hand-in-hand with supporting black lives … I do believe that black lives matter, but I just felt like it was a decision that I had to make, and I didn’t feel like putting that shirt on and kneeling went hand-in-hand with supporting black lives.”
“Everyone is made in the image of God and that we all fall short of God’s glory, and that each and every one of us each and every day do things that we shouldn’t do, we say things that we shouldn’t say, we hate and dislike people that we shouldn’t hate and dislike, and sometimes it gets to a point where we point fingers about whose evil is worse, and sometimes it comes down to simply whose evil is most visible,” Isaac added.
“I felt like I wanted to just take a stand on [it]. [I feel like] we all make mistakes,” He added that “We can get past all the things in our world that are messed up, jacked up,” Isaac continued. “I think when you look around, racism isn’t the only thing that afflicts our society, that plagues our nation, that plagues our world. I feel like coming together on that message, that we want to get past not only racism but everything that plagues us as a society, I feel like the answer to it is the gospel.”
After being asked about the correlation between kneeling for the anthem and his faith, Isaac replied, “I don’t really see it as religion for myself; I see it as a relationship with God … I don’t think that kneeling or putting on a T-shirt, for me personally, is the answer. I feel like for me, black lives are supported through the gospel. All lives are supported through the gospel. That we all, like I said, have things that we do wrong … we all fall short of God’s glory, and that at the end of the day, whoever will humble themselves and see God and repent of their sins, that we could see it in a different light … see people’s evil in a different light … it would help bring us closer together, and get past skin color, get past anything that’s on the surface that doesn’t really deal with the hearts of men and women.”
The Magic beat the Nets 128-118.