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Orlando Magic player Jonathan Isaac hasn’t just faced challenges on the court the past few years — he's faced challenges from teammates, the media, and fans for his beliefs.
Isaac became one of many headlines during the BLM riots of 2020 for refusing to kneel with his teammates during the national anthem and then again when he refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
“I never felt comfortable with the tone and the rhetoric of the Black Lives Matter organization, and I didn’t want to co-sign their message by putting on their T-shirt, and also, I didn’t want to co-sign, you know, their message by kneeling,” Isaac tells Dave Rubin.
While he got a lot of pushback for his decision not to kneel, Isaac doesn’t regret it.
He also received a lot of pushback for his refusal to be vaccinated, which he has now had a lot of discussions with his teammates about.
“People were being crazy about COVID — all these weird things about why you should get a shot and incentivizing you to get a shot,” Isaac says, adding, “and then obviously you’re getting bullied if you even have any questions about it, natural immunity, all that stuff.”
“If you’re trying to get somebody to do something, threatening them is only going to make them more weary,” Isaac says.
Isaac recalls being tricked by Rolling Stone magazine, which revealed to him just how much propaganda the media pushes.
“Then Rolling Stone put out an article, it was something like ‘NBA’s Anti-Vaxxer Problem,’” which he says seemed to be a “good faith” interview before it was published.
“I’m telling them about, you know, why my decision not to get vaccinated, and then the article comes out and it’s like, ‘Jonathan Isaac waited for people to die, he put his trust in God,' all this different stuff.’”
“This is the first time that I had saw that there is a media bias, and, you know, people call it propaganda,” Isaac continues.
“It’s freaky, but it’s freeing too,” Isaac says, adding, “I have my moment of like, 'Okay, I know what all this means.'”
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