The NBA is back and Jonathan Isaac shined in Orlando’s season opener against Houston this past Wednesday, which ended in a 116-86 victory for the Magic. The forward started his seventh year in Florida, after being drafted as the sixth overall pick in the 2017 draft.
However, his career so far hasn’t been easy, starting with the major knee injury which made him miss two season from 2020 to 2022. Also, he’s received a lot of backlash ever since he decided to stand through a national anthem being played during the Orlando ‘bubble’.
Now that he’s back and healthy, he recently revealed details to the press about his challenges away from the court and the reason why he took these controversial decisions against Black Lives Matter and the COVID-19 vaccine.
Jonathan Isaac details decision to stand during national anthem in NBA’s Orlando ‘bubble’ https://t.co/0g8nUnoUCD
— Fox News (@FoxNews) October 26, 2023
In an interview for the “Gaines for Girls” OutKick podcast, he started out explaining why he decided not to cave into the ‘bubble’ pressure and resist to kneel with his teammates during the anthem.
“For me, that was kind of the highlight of my early career of being in the NBA, was 2020. It was after the tragic death of George Floyd, and we were ushered into the NBA ‘bubble,’ where there was just so much pressure. Not even just in the bubble, but just around the world with the rise of the Black Lives Matter organization and movement,” he recalled.
Just over a month after the death of Floyd in June 2020, the NBA bubble in Orlando opened. After his decision, media and fans went after the young player, gaining lots of national attention for his actions. According to the Magic athlete, he strongly believed that BLM wasn’t the answer.
“For me, it was simply about offering another solution. I saw the issue. I saw the problem. I saw what happened to George Floyd. And as I listened to the tone and the rhetoric of the Black Lives Matter organization and movement, I never truly felt comfortable,” Jonathan added.
Isaac revealed that he shared a strong conversation with his pastor which led him to the infamous decision of standing through the protest
During the podcast interview, Isaac shared the he first consulted his pastor before making the decision. Once he did, he felt at peace as he was convinced that his choice was closer to God.
“And he said to me, ‘Jonathan, you cannot stand for God, and God not stand for you.’ And that was kind of the mic-drop moment of ‘I’m going through with this. I’m going to trust God,’” the 26-year-old said. “I know that it’s not about me wanting the spotlight. It’s not about me wanting fame. It would be easier for me to just go along with what everybody is doing.”
“So, I went through with it. I stood,” Isaac added. “There was a ton of backlash and fallout, but at the end of the day, there was so much positivity and people understanding why I did what I did. And believers as well coming together and saying, ‘This is the message that needs to be resounded.’
The Orlando athlete later took another bold stance against COVID-19 vaccines, which were being imposed by the NBA and most of the world before the start of the 2021/22 campaign.