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#pounditThursday, March 4, 2021

Magic’s Jonathan Isaac explains why he did not kneel with teammates for anthem

Jonathan Isaac was the lone player to stand for the national anthem during Friday’s Orlando Magic-Brooklyn Nets game, and now he is explaining why.

The Magic big man remained standing for the playing of the anthem before the game while the rest of his teammates took a knee around him. Isaac was also not wearing the “Black Lives Matter” T-shirt that the other players were wearing, instead going with his regular Magic game jersey.

After the game, the 22-year-old explained his decision not to take a knee.

“Absolutely I believe that Black Lives Matter,” said Isaac. “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 believe that my life has been supported through the Gospel, Jesus Christ,” added Isaac. “Everyone is made in the image of God … I think when you look around, racism isn’t the only thing that plagues our society, that plagues our nation, that plagues our world. And 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.”

The former No. 6 overall pick Isaac has emerged as a key contributor for the Magic, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. Friday’s game, in which he put up 16 points and six rebounds in a 128-118 win for Orlando, marked Isaac’s first time back in action since suffering a knee injury in January.

Isaac has been open about his Christian faith and even became an ordained minister during the NBA shutdown. He once tried to get his teammates to attend a sermon that he gave but was not quite successful in doing so.


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