Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac said he didn't kneel for the anthem or wear a shirt or jersey with a Black Lives Matter slogan because he is a Christian and the Gospel says all are made in the image of God.
JONATHAN ISAAC: Absolutely, I believe that Black lives matter. A lot went into my decision. And part of it is first off, is my thought that kneeling or wearing a Black Lives Matter T-shirt don't go hand-in-hand with supporting Black lives.
And so I felt like, just me personally, what it is that I believe in, standing 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 or that it made me support Black lives. And I don't believe that.
For myself, my life has been supported through the Gospel, Jesus Christ, and that 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 we dislike people that we shouldn't hate and dislike. And sometimes it gets into a point where we point fingers about whose evil is worse. And sometimes it comes out as simply whose evil is most visible.
So I felt like I wanted to just take a stand on it. I feel like we all make mistakes. But I think the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that there's grace for us and that Jesus came and died for our sins and that we all will come to an understanding of that and understand that God wants to have a relationship with us, that we can get past skin color. We can get past all the things in our world that are 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 feel like coming together on that message that we want to get past not only racism but everything that plagues us as a society, I feel like the answer to it is the Gospel.
QUESTION: Can you just explain further what you feel like religion has to do with kneeling for the anthem to protest against racism and police brutality, the correlation between those two?
ISAAC: Well, I mean, honestly, I don't really see it as religion for myself. I see it as a relationship with God, who-- through his son who died for our sins. I feel like I don't think-- I don't think that, you know, 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-- that we all, like I said, have things that we do wrong. And sometimes it gets into a place of pointing fingers about which wrong is worse and whose wrong is seen.
So like the Bible tells us that we're all-- we all fall short of the glory of G-- we all fall short of God's glory and that, at the end of the day, whoever will humble themselves and seek God and repent of their sins, that we could see it in a different light, see our mistakes, see people's mistakes in a different light and see people's evil in a different light and that it would help bring us closer together and get past skin color and get past anything that-- you know, that's on the surface and doesn't really deal with the hearts of men and women.