Jonathan Isaac does not follow the crowd.
During the 2020 NBA bubble in Orlando, Florida — after the George Floyd riots — NBA players knelt during the national anthem to protest anti-racism and anti-police brutality. Choosing to stand for the National Anthem was viewed as an anti-black gesture, with the risk of being vilified by the public at an all-time high.
Isaac chose not to kneel for the anthem.
“Do you believe that black lives matter?” a reporter asked Isaac afterward.
“Absolutely. I believe that Black Lives Matter,” he said. “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 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.”
So, it comes as no surprise that Isaac is going against the grain when it comes to the vaccine.
Isaac is unvaccinated and explained his reasoning at Orlando Magic media day on Monday.
“I’ve had COVID in the past,” Isaac said. “Our understanding of antibodies, of natural immunity, has changed a great deal from the onset of the pandemic. And it’s still evolving. I understand that the vaccine would help if you catch COVID and you’d be able to have less symptoms from contracting it. But with me having COVID in the past and having antibodies, with my current age group and physical fitness level, it’s not necessarily a fear of mine. Taking the vaccine would decrease my chances of having a severe reaction, but it does open me up to albeit rare chance but the possibility of having an adverse reaction to the vaccine itself.”
“I don’t believe that being unvaccinated means being infected or being vaccinated means being uninfected. You can still catch COVID with or without the vaccine. I would say, the craziness of it all, in terms of not being able to say that it should be everybody’s fair choice without being demeaned or talked crazy to, doesn’t make one comfortable to do what said person is telling them to do. I would say that’s a couple of the reasons why I’m hesitant at this time.”
“Loving your neighbors, not just loving those that agree with you or look like you, or move in the same way that you do … it’s loving those that don’t”
The is the most articulate, sensitive and poised explanation of natural immunity, self ownership, medical freedom, and loving your neighbor that I have seen to this day, and he accomplishes it in under 2 minutes. @RepThomasMassie
— Kween Josie of all the Liberty (@OfficialTRHL) September 28, 2021
Media day was filled with questions from reporters on COVID and the vaccine. Those players that have not confirmed their vaccination were subject to many questions as to why.
Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards told reporters that he is not vaccinated, questioning why fully vaccinated people can get and transmit the vaccine. Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets was absent at the media day, instead doing a video interview due to New York’s vaccination requirement. And Andrew Wiggins of the Golden State Warriors told reporters it’s “none of your business” when asked why he won’t share his reasoning behind not getting the shot.
The NBA is reportedly 90% vaccinated, and most staff members and referees are required to have the shot in order to work near players.
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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