Orlando Magic’s Jonathan Isaac becomes the lone player to represent the national anthem

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The televised broadcast showed Isaac, who is Black, standing as players and coaches of both teams, as well as referees, kneeling while playing the National Anthem. The 22-year-old striker was also the only player seen not to wear a “Black Lives Matter” shirt.

Instead Isaac can be seen wearing his Magic game shirt.

Social media watchers wondered why he chose to refrain from protesting across the league.

“I am very curious about – and I will be patient for – Jonathan Isaac’s explanation here,” tweeted basketball writer Dane Moore. “Standing for the anthem is one thing … But it seems to be intentional that he * doesn’t * wear a Black Lives Matter shirt …. I don’t know, friend …”
“I’m not interested in dragging me ..” said another Twitter user. “What Jonathan Isaac did was his right to do it. I haven’t lost respect for him and I still respect him for who he is. If a player gets up or kneels, I can’t care less.”

The owners of Magic, the DeVos family, released a statement in support of the players’ pre-game protest on Friday. The statement did not allude to Isaac’s decision to get up.

“The DeVos family and the Orlando Magic organization fully support Magic players who have chosen to use their professional platform to send a peaceful and powerful message condemning bigotry, racial injustice and unjustified use of violence by of the police, especially against black people, “he said.

He added: “We are proud of the positive impact our players have had and we join them in the belief that sport can bring people together – bridging divisions and promoting inclusion, equality, diversity and unity. We know it is not about the army, the men and women who honorably serve to keep our communities safe for everyone, or those who have paid the maximum price to offer freedom, including freedom of expression. “

“We are confident that the entire Magic family has immense respect for these entities and individuals,” said the note. “It’s about coming together to end racism once and for all. We are committed to walking alongside our players – today and in the many days to come – looking for lasting and impactful changes.”

The Magic are facing Brooklyn nets in the third game of the season shooting championship in Orlando.

Each player knelt down for the league’s reopening games

Last night, every NBA player who restarted the 2020 season of the league knelt during the national anthem wearing “Black Lives Matter” shirts.

Shortly before Thursday evening’s departure, the players with the pelicans of New Orleans and Utah Jazz, joined by coaches and game officials, all went to their knees. The Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers followed suit before their Orlando game.

On some game jerseys, player names were replaced with messages such as “Equality”, “I am a man”, “Ally” and “Say his name”, sending a clear message in support of the social justice movement.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Thursday evening that he will not force players to stand up during the anthem.

“I respect the unified act of peaceful protest by our social justice teams and in these unique circumstances I will not enforce our longstanding rule that requires us to remain standing while performing our national anthem,” said Silver.

CNN’s Leah Asmelash and Jill Martin contributed to this story.

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