Jonathan Isaac responds after being the lone NBA player to stand for National Anthem

The TV show showed Isaac, who is black, standing as players and coaches for both teams, as well as referees, took a knee while playing the national anthem. The 22-year-old forward was also the only player not wearing a “Black Lives Matter” jersey.

Isaac can be seen wearing his Magic game jersey instead.

He explained his stance on Friday before the game against the Brooklyn Nets, saying he didn’t think “putting on that shirt and kneeling go hand in hand to support black life.”

“For me, black lives are supported by the gospel. All lives are supported by the gospel, ”he said. “We all have things that we do wrong and sometimes it gets to a point where we point out which finger is wrong is the worst. Or who is wrong is seen, then I feel like the Bible tells us that we are all short of the glory of God. It will help us get closer and go beyond the color of the skin. And to overcome whatever is on the surface and does not really enter the hearts or the men and women. “

Social media watchers wondered why he chose to abstain from the league-wide protest.

“I’m very curious – and I’ll be patient for – Jonathan Isaac’s explanation here,” tweeted basketball writer Dane Moore. “Standing for the anthem is one thing … but seeming intentional not to wear a Black Lives Matter shirt … I don’t know, man …”
“Drag me, I don’t care ..” another Twitter user said. “What Jonathan Isaac did was his right to do. I haven’t lost any respect for him and I still respect him for who he is. If a player gets up or kneels, I don’t care.”

The owners of the Magic, the DeVos family, released a statement of support for the players’ pre-game protest on Friday. The statement did not allude to Isaac’s decision to show up.

“The DeVos family and the Orlando Magic organization fully support Magic players who have chosen to leverage their professional platform to send a peaceful and powerful message condemning bigotry, racial injustice and the misuse of violence by police, especially against people of color, ”the statement said.

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He added: “We are proud of the positive impact our players have had and we join them in the belief that sport can bring people together – bridge the gaps and promote inclusion, equality, diversity. and unity.We know it’s not about the military, the men and women who honorably serve to keep our communities safe for all, or those who have paid the ultimate price to keep our communities safe. freedom, including freedom of expression. “

“We are convinced that the entire Magic family has immense respect for these entities and individuals,” the statement said. “It is about coming together to end racism once and for all. We are committed to walking alongside our players – today and in the many days to come – in the search for lasting change and impactful. “

The Magic face the Brooklyn Nets in the league’s third game of the season resumption in Orlando.

Every player got down on their knees for the NBA reopening games

Last night, all of the NBA players who resumed the 2020 league season knelt during the national anthem while wearing “Black Lives Matter” shirts.

Moments before the game started Thursday night, the New Orleans Pelicans and Utah Jazz players, joined by coaches and match officials, all took a knee. The Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers followed suit ahead of their game in Orlando.

On some gaming shirts, player names have been replaced with messages such as ‘Equality’, ‘I am a man’, ‘Ally’ and ‘Say his name’, sending a clear message in support of the justice movement. social.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Thursday night he would not force players to stand up during the anthem.

“I respect the unified act of peaceful protest by our social justice teams and in these unique circumstances, I will not enforce our long-standing rule of standing while our national anthem is being read,” Silver said. .

CNN’s Leah Asmelash and Jill Martin contributed to this story.


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