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Jonathan Isaac decided to listen to the United States anthem standing and wearing the Orlando Magic shirt. What was the norm until a few months ago now stands out amid massive NBA protests against racism . Until then, all players and coaches from all teams had listened to the anthem with one knee on the ground and a shirt with the message 'Black Lives Matter'. Isaac has been the first to distance himself.
Isaac is a player with deep religious convictions. In fact, a few months ago he was ordained pastor of his Church at just 22 years old . And from that faith he tried to explain his decision not to support the NBA's protests against racism, although his speech, stuck and full of vagueness, revealed both his faith and his 22 years.
"I think kneeling or wearing that shirt is not the answer. For me, the lives of black people have support in the Word of God. All lives have it. We all do things that are wrong and sometimes we end up pointing each other out. see which are worse. The Bible tells us that none of us are worthy of the Glory of God. If we were humble and repented of our sins, we could see our mistakes and those of others in a different light. That would help us unite and come beyond what is on the surface, "he said.
Isaac, the only player who did not support the protest against racism, received the support of all his colleagues . The young Magic center had already explained his decision in the locker room and everyone who went through the microphones was sympathetic.
His posture reflects a change from the reaction he had when Colin Kaepernick protested the same day. "It seems precious to me. I think that no athlete should be afraid to talk about this. And I think that all leagues should speak more openly, because in all of them there are athletes who are African American or who have different origins and have something to say," he said at the time. .
Popovich and Hammon's protest
A few hours later, San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and his assistant Becky Hammon also did not kneel during the anthem. Of course, unlike Isaac they did wear the shirt with the slogan 'Black Lives Matter'.
"I prefer to keep my reasons to myself. Everyone has to make a personal decision. And the NBA is behaving very well with that. We all have the freedom to react as we want," Popovich explained.
The Spurs coach was trained in the United States Navy and is one of the most vocal voices in American sport. "We must be the ones who confront power with the truth and denounce this situation, whatever the consequences. We cannot let anything escape. Our country is in trouble and the main reason is race," he said after the murder of George. Floyd at the hands of a police officer.
Popovich is also one of the most critical voices with the Trump Administration . "The man who sits in the Oval Office is a soulless coward who can only feel great denigrating others. We have a pathological liar in the White House, intellectually, emotionally and psychologically incapable of holding that office, and everyone else does. you know, "he once said.
Hammon, who also decided to listen to the standing hymn but did wear the shirt, showed his support by putting his hand on the shoulder of two of his teammates, Ime Udoka and Will Handy .
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