Orlando Magic's Jonathan Isaac explains why he didn't take knee or wear Black Lives Matter shirt Friday
We had an incredible opening weekend of games name a star level player that player delivered at least once if not twice over the first three or four nights of the NBA's restart here in Orlando, we had crazy comeback wins. By the Houston Rockets, we had a dominant performance by. Jaanus over some little pesky pip squeak team from New England I forget who they might be. We got Marcus smart got fined for trying to work the officials. We've got storylines upon story lines. The clippers bounce back from their loss to the Lakers. Looking excellent and just throttling the New Orleans Pelicans. There's so many different directions that we can go Michael that I decided. Here's what we're GONNA do opening weekend heaters we're GONNA have just open ended questions are we're going to ping pong back and forth you give me your answers I'm going to give you my answers to these questions and try to cover as much ground as possible before we get there though I do want to double back quickly on the national anthem demonstrations that we touched on last episode, we got so many thoughtful emails from various members of the open floor globe on this subject, but I think there was a major development after we spoke on Friday. and. That involve Jonathan Isaac Meyers. Leonard Gregg Popovich Becky Hammon and one of the NBA referees all deciding to not kneel to not really participate in what had been in unified demonstration on Thursday. All of those people who chose to stand were obviously doing it on principle and they were doing it knowing there was going to be a lot of attention their direction. Now, if you look at Popovich amend the referee essentially, they were trying to just say, Hey, I support the the Social Justice Movement it's it's a private or personal decision for the referee said look I it's important to me to stand Meyers Leonard made a similar comment. Essentially. Saying that his brothers military service in the in the military service of close people in his life led him to WanNa stand to salute the flag. But within Isaac was a slightly different case and he actually used this entire demonstration opportunity to almost have a one man demonstration of his own. In his belief, the idea of the black lives matters movement quote unquote doesn't go hand in hand with supporting black lives. He also said that you know we shouldn't be necessarily judging things solely based on skin color that we should be trying to live a life basically you know in God's mold and try to live up to his standard, and that Jesus Christ was his personal savior and and that he wanted everyone to focus on that. Aspect of of living rather than the particular issue that was being brought forward with the black lives matter movement by the players he didn't really get any major pushback. Within the NBA Community people respected his right to make a stand. He actually not only did he stand during the national anthem? He didn't wear a black lives matter t shirt which many people notice because he was essentially the only player not to do that his whole personal story Michael took a crazy twist over the weekend and sad twist when he wound up tearing his ACL injury that's going to end his time here in Orlando obviously but also could cost him all of next season. So now talk about a whirlwind seventy, two hours for player who generated millions of us with his comments about the protests. I'm curious. Let's start with Jonathan Isaac. What did you make of his decision? After we've seen things settle in the last couple of days You know maybe it doesn't seem quite as Eye Opening as it did at that moment, but I'll admit I was I was surprised to see given the buy in from everybody on opening night. Right, I mean I just WanNa Start and say that it it really really is a bummer to see anyone get injured but particularly is ICK who was already on restriction he was already playing with a humongous brace on his leg from a previous injury that cost him a majority of this regular season before it was suspended. So I just I feel for him greatly. I I think generally speaking. The coverage of who stands in who sits I mean we talked about this heading in anticipated it I. Think I think the coverage is generally besides the point and it doesn't really get the point I feel like people are using. This as an opportunity to shame those who are standing in a little bit I mean Meyers Leonard. said, he couldn't sleep before he made the decision to stand and that's just like not. The whole focus or the point here right like. You can obviously Support Black lives and also stand for the national anthem. It is a symbolic gesture that is what it is in the case of Isaac. I really had a difficult time understanding even what his message was until you interpreted it the way that you did I mean I watched the clip of Him Multiple Times survey there I'm GonNa just GonNa read what he said I and then we can use that as a jumping off point because I don't WanNa torture what he said earlier and I might have done that. So sorry for that. He says quote absolutely I believe that black lives matter kneeling while wearing a black lives matter t shirt doesn't go hand in hand with supporting black lives. I. Don't think kneeling or putting on a T. shirt for me personally is the answer i. Feel like for me, black lives are supported through the Gospel. All lives are supported through the Gospel. We all have things that we do wrong. Sometimes, it gets into a place of pointing fingers. We all fall short of God's glory whoever will humble themselves and seek God and repent of their sins. We can see our mistakes and people's mistakes and evil in a different light. Racism isn't the only thing that flags our society, our nation and our world, and he basically said he wanted this conversation to get out of the realm of skin color because the answer to all of our problems in everything that goes on in our world is Jesus. So. when I watched the clip. I'll I'll be honest. I was a little confused where he was going to after typing it all out trying to marinate on what he was saying I think he essentially wanted to have a demonstration on behalf of his religious beliefs and that this was an opportunity for him to say look you know focusing only on one particular group I. Guess in his view, the black lives matter group and you know everybody wearing a t-shirt doesn't necessarily achieve the wider goal which would be presumably healthy living. You know honest living you know Living which to him as a higher priority I think that's where he was going with his statements.