NBA Star Who Refused to Kneel During National Anthem Makes Big Return to Court Following Injury
Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac made a triumphant return to the NBA this week, three years after suffering a career-stalling ACL tear in his left knee.
Isaac, who refused to kneel during the national anthem or wear a “Black Lives Matter” T-shirt in 2020, thanked God for helping him persevere during his difficult recovery.
“There were days where I was like, ‘I don’t know if I want to keep going,'” the devout Christian said after Monday’s game against the Boston Celtics, according to ESPN.
“But then again, I have to thank Christ,” he said. “Being able to go back to my faith and say God has me on this journey for a purpose. I know that I was made to play basketball. I was made to give glory to God on this stage.”
Isaac scored 10 points in the Magic’s 113-98 win against the Celtics.
When asked how he felt after the game, the 25-year-old ordained minister said “relief and peace” in knowing that God has his back.
“I just want to thank him, because this night could have gone so many ways. And for it to go the way it did, I appreciate him for it,” Isaac said. “So there’s a peace, a relief to it. So let’s keep going.”
His unwavering faith and relentlessly positive attitude have been a source of inspiration for some of his teammates, who marvel at his tenacity.
“I don’t think anybody else, given his injury history, could go through what he went through,” Magic center Mo Bamba told The Athletic on Tuesday.
“But he’s a strong-faithed man, and I think he was the most prepared to go through what he’s going through than anybody else in this locker room, if anything, in this league.”
Orlando forward Gary Harris expressed similar admiration for Isaac’s tireless optimism and consummate professionalism.
“Just seeing all the countless hours he’s put in — just the amount of patience he’s had with the whole process — has been inspirational,” Harris told The Athletic.
“To see someone who’s been through a lot — it’s not easy for him to keep fighting — keep pushing,” Harris said. “To get to this point two years down the road. Some people can’t even look down far enough to watch it play out. For him to even still be here — coming in with a smile on his face every day — and make this possible is inspirational, man.”
“There was a lot of pressure on all the NBA players to kneel for the national anthem and to wear the “Black Lives Matter” T-shirt. We had a team meeting early on and I said fellas, I’m not gonna put that T-shirt on. I’m not gonna kneel.”
– @JJudahIsaac of the Orlando Magic pic.twitter.com/J4aqJ03byd
— PragerU (@prageru) October 13, 2022
A lot has happened since Isaac injured his knee on Aug. 2, 2020.
First, the “Black Lives Matter” organization has been exposed as a race-hustling grift that squandered millions of dollars in donations it received following the death of George Floyd in police custody.
Second, Isaac became a bestselling author who has won praise for his courage in refusing to disrespect the national anthem at NBA games.
In his critically acclaimed book “Why I Stand,” Isaac reveals how his Christian faith helped him weather the vitriol he received from unhinged leftists for not kneeling and not promoting the Black Lives Matter movement.
Merry Christmas brother! 🙌🏾💪🏾 https://t.co/HKv6JucY5y
— Jonathan Isaac (@JJudahIsaac) December 25, 2022
“There was a lot of pressure on all the NBA players to kneel for the national anthem and to wear the ‘Black Lives Matter’ T-shirt,” the NBA star told PragerU in October.
“The shirt was just in your locker. We didn’t have any other options, so I decided to just go out there without a shirt on, without a warmup on.”
Isaac said he understood he would be called racist names by the left, such as “Uncle Tom” or “coon,” for refusing to disrespect the national anthem, but said he answers to a higher authority.
“I knew what I was standing for was dear to me,” he told PragerU.
“I knew I believed that the Gospel was going to be the answer for the world … that we all fall short of God’s glory, and that if we’re throwing stones at anybody else — at a different color, at a different individual — we’re throwing stones from a glass house because we’ve done wrong, too.”
Isaac has repeatedly stated that supporting Black Lives Matter the organization is not the best way to support black people.
The NBA sensation is one of the few public figures who has called out BLM for pushing racially divisive rhetoric that demonizes white people.
“The rhetoric, the tone of the organization … that was for me what made it uncomfortable, was that what I felt was being spewed was divisiveness and one side against the other, one color against the other,” he said.
Isaac said fomenting racial hatred does not align with his faith.
Accordingly, he has no regrets for his actions because he did what was right based on his Christian beliefs — and that’s what matters most.
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