On the first two nights the NBA came back from their pandemic pause, Jonathan Isaac was the only player to not kneel during the national anthem. He also chose not to where a black lives matter shirt over his jersey.
Later, San Antonio Spurs coaches Gregg Popovich, a supporter of Black Lives Matter and other social justice causes, and Becky Hammon also chose to stand. Isaac was the one interviewed on the subject and here’s what he had to say,
“I believe that Black Lives Matter. 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 it 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 by the gospel, Jesus Christ, and everyone is made in the image of God and that we all fall short of God’s glory.
Each and every one of us do things that we shouldn’t do and say things that we shouldn’t say. We hate and dislike things 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. So I felt like I wanted to take a stand on, we all make mistakes, but I think that the gospel of Jesus Christ is that there’s grace for us, and that Jesus came and died for our sins and that if we all come to an understanding of that and that God wants to have a relationship with us, that we can get past all of the things in our world that our messed up, jacked up.
I think when you look around, racism isn’t the only thing that plagues our society, that plagues our nation, that plagues our world, and I think coming together on that message that we want to get past not only racism but everything that plagues as us as a society, I feel like the answer to that is gospel.”
Whether you agree or disagree, this is what is great about America. We don’t have to stand. We don’t have to kneel. We have the freedom to protest, to free speech, and to religion. In Isaac’s case, he believes this is how he can best glorify God where he is. That may look different for others, but we each have a part to play and Isaac is trying to play his as respectfully as possible.