Jonathan Isaac the lone NBA player to stand during national anthem for Magic-Nets
Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac became the first player to stand during the national anthem during Friday’s pre-game ceremony prior to their opening tilt against the Brooklyn Nets. Isaac was also the only player choosing not to wear a Black Lives Matter-related shirt, as the rest of his counterparts were during the ceremony.
Jeff Zillgitt of USA TODAY Sports snapped a quick photo, showing the 6-foot-11 forward upright while the rest of his teammates, opponents, coaches, and staff kneeled to support the Black Lives Matter movement.
For those without League Pass, Nets and Magic players and coaches kneeling for the anthem except Jonathan Isaac to the right of the photo. pic.twitter.com/iTgCB9HrpF
— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) July 31, 2020
The Magic soon after released a statement, likely one they had prepared for this moment:
“The DeVos Family and the Orlando Magic organization fully supports Magic players who have chosen to leverage their professional platform to send a peaceful and powerful message condemning bigotry, racial injustice and the unwarranted use of violence by police, especially against people of color. We are proud of the positive impact our players have made and join with them in the belief that sports can bring people together -bridging divides and promoting inclusion, equality, diversity and unity. We know this is not about the military, the men and women who serve honorably to keep our communities safe for all, or those who have paid the ultimate price to provide freedom, including freedom of expression. We’re confident the entire Magic family has immense respect for these entities and individuals. This is about coming together to end racism once and for all. We are committed to walking alongside our players – today and in the many days ahead -in the pursuit of lasting and impactful change.”
The NBA gave players the liberty to choose how they would want to demonstrate their initiatives to shine a light on the racial injustice and racism plaguing the country. Just as well, the league allowed players to choose not to wear any message at all in the back of their jerseys or not display any form of social justice message whatsoever.
Few have taken that route and Isaac might have some explaining to do at the end of the game, as this antic has surely not gone unnoticed.