Just days after sparking attention all over the internet, Orlando Magic player Jonathan Isaac is doubling down on his decision to remain standing for the national anthem.
Despite the backlash he’s faced, Isaac is standing his ground.
The 22-year-old athlete became the first and only NBA player inside the bubble to remain standing during “The Star-Spangled Banner.” He also decided not to wear a Black Lives Matter T-shirt, according to CBN News.
During a presser, Isaac explained he does, of course, believe black lives matter. His life, however, is ultimately grounded in his faith in God — not a political campaign.
“I believe that black lives matter,” he said. “Kneeling while wearing a Black Lives Matter T-shirt [doesn’t] go hand-in-hand with supporting black lives. My life has been supported through the Gospel — Jesus Christ — and everyone is made in the image of God.”
His decision was personal, not a choice intended to make him popular.
“My teammates know who I am and what I believe as a person and they respect me for the decision,” Isaac said. “For me, personally, it’s not coming from a position of wanting to be popular or wanting to be seen. It all came down to what’s in my heart; I stake my flag with Jesus.”
After making the faith-based decision, Isaac was ridiculed on social media.
Many of the Orlando Magic player’s critics even suggested he deserved the knee injury he sustained during the Sunday game.
Kayte Hunter, a sideline reporter for NBC Sports, rebuked those who called Isaac’s injury “karma.”
“I got a lot of tweets from people saying this was karma,” said Hunter. “That is just a really nasty way — that is not what sports is about. I implore you all to have some decency. That is disgusting to me and I hope to God that Jonathan Isaac can recover quickly and this isn’t as serious as it looked.”