Skip to main content

NBA Player Explains Why He Didn't Kneel For National Anthem

Jonathan Isaac standing for the national anthem.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - JULY 31: Jonathan Isaac #1 of the Orlando Magic stands as others kneel before the start of a game between the Brooklyn Nets and the Orlando Magic on July 31, 2020 at The HP Field House at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. (Photo by Ashley Landis - Pool/Getty Images)

On Thursday night, every coach and player for the Clippers, Jazz, Lakers and Pelicans kneeled during the national anthem. That wasn't the case during this afternoon's game between the Brooklyn Nets and Orlando Magic.

Magic forward Jonathan Isaac was the only player to stand during the national anthem on Friday. The rest of his team kneeled to protest police brutality and racial injustice in the United States.

Following the team's win over the Nets, the Florida State product was asked why he didn't kneel during the anthem or wear a "Black Lives Matter" shirt. Isaac wants his fans to know that his decision to stand has no impact on how he feels about the "Black Lives Matter" movement.

"I thought that kneeling or wearing the Black Lives Matter T-shirt didn't go hand in hand with supporting Black lives," Isaac said. "My life has been supported through the Gospel. Everyone is made in the image of God and we all share his glory."

Before the opening game on Thursday night, Charles Barkley shared his thoughts on the national anthem. His comments actually go hand in hand with what happened earlier today with Isaac.

"The national anthem means different things to different people,” Barkley said. “I’m glad these guys are all unified. But if people don’t kneel, they’re not a bad person. I want to make that perfectly clear.”

With more NBA games on the schedule for tonight, it's very possible that other players will stand during the national anthem.

Regardless if players choose to kneel or stand during the anthem, the NBA will continue to do its best to end racial injustice.