Magic’s Jonathan Isaac: Kneeling, wearing BLM T-shirt not ‘answer’ for him
Through every game so far during the NBA’s restart at the Walt Disney World resort in Orlando, every player, coach, and referee has kneeled during the national anthem in support of Black Lives Matter. It has become the norm.
Which is why the Magic’s Jonathan Isaac stood out — he did not wear a Black Lives Matter T-shirt for warmups Friday, then he stood for the national anthem. So far, he is the only player to do so.
Isaac is passionate about his Christian faith and said that racism is condemned in the Gospel but that wearing a BLM shirt or kneeling was not the answer for him. (Hat tip Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.)
“Absolutely I believe Black Lives Matter. A lot went into my decision … kneeling or wearing a Black Lives Matter T-shirt don’t go hand in hand in supporting Black lives. I do believe that Black lives matter, I just felt like it was a decision I had to make, and I didn’t feel like putting that shirt on and kneeling went hand in hand with supporting Black lives…
“I don’t think that kneeling or putting on a T-shirt for me, personally, is the answer. For me, Black lives are supported through the Gospel, all lives are supported through the Gospel,. We all fall short of God’s glory, and at the end of the day, whoever will humble themselves and seek God and repent their sins, then we could see our mistakes and people’s mistakes and people’s evil in a different light, and that 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.”
Coach Steve Clifford said after the game Isaac’s teammates support his decision and reasons for not kneeling or wearing a BLM shirt.
Nikola Vucevic, when asked on a Zoom conference about Jonathan Isaac— Orlando Pinstriped Post (@OPPMagicBlog) July 31, 2020
"He had his personal reasons for deciding to stand, so if he wants to share that with you guys, I will leave that up to him. Of course, we respect his decision and we know where he stands."
“That’s his choice and he doesn’t need to (explain),” Magic guard Evan Fournier, while wearing a BLM t-shirt, about Jonathan Isaac’s decision not to wear the BLM t-shirt and kneel.— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpears) July 31, 2020
We will see if any other players choose to follow Isaac’s lead.