Former Seminole Isaac lone player to stand for anthem

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Isaac became the first player during the restarted National Basketball Association season to not kneel for the playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner", opting Friday to stand as the pre-recorded song blared through the arena at Walt Disney World before his Orlando Magic faced the Brooklyn Nets.

"I only have a problem with it if he says "Black lives don't matter" or he disagrees with that we're fighting for".

A person with knowledge of Isaac's decision said it was not a surprise to his teammates and that his choice was discussed ahead of time. I'm glad they had unity, but if we have a guy who doesn't want to kneel because the anthem means something to him, he should not be vilified'.

Isaac spoke about his decision after the game, saying kneeling and wearing a Black Lives Matter shirt doesn't "go hand in hand" with supporting Black lives.

He's the first National Basketball Association player to stand during the playing of the anthem since the National Basketball Association relaunched its games from the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla.

When asked to explain how kneeling correlates with his religion, Isaac said he didn't think "kneeling or putting on a t-shirt, for me personally, is the answer". Isaac is an ordained minister.

Isaac finished the game with 16 points and six rebounds in 16 minutes as the Magic won 128-118. The NBA has a rule requiring players to stand for the anthem since 1981, but Commissioner Adam Silver said he wouldn't be enforcing it, allowing for peaceful demonstrations. During Thursday's game, every coach and player on the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Pelicans and Utah Jazz took a knee in protest of racial injustice and police brutality in the United States.

Magic head coach Steve Clifford and guard Evan Fournier, who knelt during the anthem, said they supported Isaac's decision. "I just felt that kneeling or wearing a Black Lives Matter t-shirt don't go hand in hand with supporting Black Lives", he said.

So far, Jonathan hasn't commented on his decision to stand publicly - because the game is now being played. He has donated money to feed children affected by the coronavirus pandemic, led a Hurricane Dorian relief effort and has raised money to help organizations promote literacy for children in Central Florida. "I feel the answer to it is the Gospel".

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