Orlando Magic player Jonathan Isaac stood for the USA national anthem ahead of his team's clash with the Brooklyn Nets on Friday, declining to join teammates and coaches who knelt for the pre-game ritual. This was done so as to use the platform of the National Basketball Association to spread more awareness about the "Black Lives Matter" campaign.
Isaac's decision was not a surprise to his teammates; he revealed it in a team meeting earlier in the week.
The same goes for anyone who wishes to stand - no one is saying the players HAVE to kneel, either.
Magic and Nets players followed suit on Friday as the "Star-Spangled Banner" was played, but Isaac did not take part. Isaac is an ordained minister.
With the move, Isaac becomes the first NBA player to stand during the national anthem since the restart.
Isaac finished the game with 16 points and six rebounds in 16 minutes as the Magic won 128-118. But NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Thursday night - when the teams that played in the opening night of the restarted season, those being New Orleans, Utah, the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers, all knelt for the anthem - that he was relaxing that policy in these times where a desire for equality and social justice is at the forefront of many conversations in this country.
The NBA has a rule stating kneeling is not allowed during the national anthem.
Isaac also spoke about National Basketball Association players using their platforms to send a message, but he said it should be done "in a balanced way".
'I'm glad these guys are unified, ' he said after players protested on Thursday. Day, the Orlando Magic chose Jonathan Isaac to say a few words to fans before tipoff of a game at Amway Center. But if people don't kneel, they're not a bad person. So I felt like, just me personally, what it is that I believe is standing on the 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 in supporting Black lives, or that it made me support Black lives or not".
Isaac received the Magic's community service award previous year.
"We all sin and the answers to all of the world's problems, not only racism, is the true Gospel of Jesus Christ", Isaac said.
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