Aug 2, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac (1) stands during the national anthem before a NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings at HP Field House. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Orlando Magic star forward Jonathan Isaac hasn’t played a full season’s worth of games since the 2018-19 NBA season. That’s largely due to injuries, as he suffered a torn ACL in the bubble during the COVID-pandemic, and later dealt with a hamstring injury and a torn left adductor muscle.

It’s been a long road back for the 26-year-old Isaac, who scored 11 points in 14 minutes off the bench in Orlando’s 116-86 Opening Night win over the Houston Rockets. 

While he hasn’t shown much on the court since the 2019-20 season (prior to the pandemic of course), Isaac has gained notoriety as one of the more outspoken Christian Conservatives in professional sports. He’s made a ton of headlines away from the court because of his action on it, as he decided to stand during the national anthem in the bubble.

Isaac explained why he didn’t join his teammates in kneeling for the anthem in a recent interview with former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines on the Gaines for Girls OutKick podcast.

“For me, that was kind of the highlight of my early career of being in the NBA, was 2020. It was after the tragic death of George Floyd and we were ushered into the NBA ‘bubble,’ where there was just so much pressure. Not even just in the bubble, but just around the world with the rise of the Black Lives Matter organization and movement,” Isaac told Gaines, via Fox News.

Inside the NBA bubble, many players decided to kneel for the national anthem during the height of Black Lives Matter. Isaac decided to stand, instead, gaining national attention for doing so.

“For me, it was simply about offering another solution. I saw the issue. I saw the problem. I saw what happened to George Floyd. And as I listened to the tone and the rhetoric of the Black Lives Matter organization and movement, I never truly felt comfortable,” Isaac added.

[Fox News]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.