(Liberty Bell) – Jonathan Isaac of the Orlando Magic became the first NBA player to actually stand for the National Anthem or wear a “Black Lives Matter” t-shirt over the weekend before a game against the Brooklyn Nets at Disney’s Wide World of Sports’ HP Field House in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, on Friday, July 31, 2020.
Now, it appears, this very bold and thoughtful move, which he had explained at length as relating to his Christian faith, has gained the baller some fans.
Lots of them.
“Two days after the Magic’s game on Friday, Isaac’s jersey sales surged on the NBA’s store,” reports Fox News. “As of Sunday, Isaac’s jersey is the second-best seller on the league’s website behind only Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James.”
Top Ball Coverage tweeted, “Jonathan Isaac’s jersey sales have skyrocketed after he stood for the National Anthem. He is now number two in jerseys sales among players only behind LeBron James.”
Isaac had decided to wear his team jersey rather than a Black Lives Matter shirt, as the rest of the team had done.
Speaking with reporters after the game, Isaac gave a bold explanation for his decision.
“Do you believe that black lives matter?” a reporter asked Isaac (what an absurd question to ask a black man.)
“Absolutely. I believe that black lives matter,” he replied.
“A lot went into my decision, and part of it is, I thought that kneeling or wearing the Black Lives Matter T-shirt doesn’t go hand-in-hand with supporting Black lives. So I felt like, just me personally, what is that I believe is taking on a stance that, 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. I believe that for myself.”
“My life has been supported through the gospel, Jesus Christ, 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 continued.
Sports commentator Tony Dungy gave kudos to Isaac for standing for the anthem, urging others to follow suit.
“We’ve said people should be able to exercise their right to kneel during the National Anthem and we should listen & hear their reasons why,” Dungy tweeted. “When Jonathan Isaac chooses to stand we should do the same.”
“He explained his reasons very clearly-he wants to stand in prayer,” he added. “I say Amen!”
Dungy added that he would often pray during the National Anthem during his time as a coach.
“I stood and prayed during every National Anthem for the 13 years I was a head coach,” he said. “I think God is concerned about our attitude when coming to Him more so than our posture.”
Sports journalist Jason Whitlock also weighed in: “Jonathan Issac… The walk of a Christian is the path least traveled. Issac bows to Jesus, not social media branding. He’s walking the walk!”
This is a man with courage and conviction. We need more pro athletes like him!