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Producers' Pick | Jonathan Isaac: Why I Stand for the National Anthem

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May 21, 2022 12:00 am

Producers' Pick | Jonathan Isaac: Why I Stand for the National Anthem

Brian Kilmeade Show / Brian Kilmeade

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May 21, 2022 12:00 am

Forward for the Orlando Magic Jonathan Isaac on his new book "Why I Stand."

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The talk show that's getting you talking. You're with Brian Kilmeade. As we get closer and closer to the end of the week, what a great place to close out this hour with. The author of Why I Stand, NBA star Jonathan Isaac, first-round draft pick 2017, sixth overall for the Orlando Magic when everyone was taking a knee during the BLM riots and the George Floyd death.

He was killed by the cops who is now in jail, but I think two took pleas this week. Jonathan Isaac stood tall and in fact he wrote a book about it which is called Why I Stand and is out out this week. Jonathan, welcome to the show.

Thanks so much for having me. Yeah, so The Daily Wire publishing your book. First off, you growing up at the Bronx, WABC listeners who are listening right now, WRCN, they know about you being a high school standout, but when it came to being drafted, the thing about you was your values, your ethics, and your religious beliefs.

Where did that come from? Well, it's a journey over time and that's what I really tried to do with the book Why I Stand is take people through a journey of my life and how I came to faith in the first place. So I grew up in the church. My dad had us in church all the time, but it wasn't something that I really held on to.

It was just kind of traditional for me. So as basketball kind of took over and I was able to get out and explore, I kind of lived the life that everybody would expect the upcoming, you know, going to be in the NBA player to live. But at the same time, I still had those kind of Christian roots in me a little bit, but it really came to fruition once I got into the NBA and the book takes you through all of that. So the Christiana Lager Foundation, but while so many African American players were taking a knee because they said what Kaepernick had said is inequities in our society, do you not see inequities in our society? Or why did you stand? Well, it's not that I don't see inequities in our society, it's that I didn't believe that, for me, it was that I couldn't think of a better antidote or message to the problems that we see.

Racism is in everything that plagues the hearts of men other than the gospel. So I didn't want to go along with anybody's narrative. I didn't want to go along with what I want to go along with, you know, an organization or what anybody believed. For them, that was their way of, you know, finding change, which was kneeling for the national anthem and wearing a Black Lives Matter t-shirt.

For me, it wasn't. For me, I looked at my life and said, you know what, I know that the love of Jesus Christ and the gospel has been what has changed me. And that's what I'm going to stand up and remind people that we all fall short of God's glory.

We've all done things that are wrong. And at the end of the day, if this world is going to change, we're going to have to love and it's going to be through Christ. And so that's what I wanted to stand up and say. That's why I ultimately wrote the book to give people the story behind the stand.

Understood. What does being an American mean to you? Well, being an American, I love being an American at the end of the day. I think, you know, I appreciate the fact that I live in a country where, you know, we have freedoms and rights and you can become who you want to become. I think, you know, the American dream is something still to aspire towards.

And, you know, I'm grateful to live in America. And you're having unbelievable success through it. It's more than talent.

It's got to be hard work. I know you're dealing with a series of injuries right now. Was the Orlando Magic okay with you standing during the national anthem? They were. You know, I had conversations before, you know, before I decided to stand, I told the president of our team that, you know, that this was a decision that I was going to make. I didn't want to catch anybody off guard. But yeah, you know, they were okay with it. And, you know, they came out with statements of, you know, at the end of the day, supporting the fact that I'm, you know, I'm allowed to make my own decisions. And, but, you know, obviously the polarization of the moment, there was a ton of backlash. And, you know, a lot of people didn't agree with me, but I, you know, I decided that this was the right thing for me to do. And I just stood tall and spoke my truth.

Where'd you get the backlash from? Well, just, just society at the end of the day, you know, that there are people who, who equated wearing a t-shirt and kneeling for the national anthem with the literal support of black lives. And that's where I differed again, when I looked at my life and said, my life has been supported by the gospel.

I know countless lives that people that look like me and people who don't that have been supported by the gospel. And I was like, this is not the only way to support, you know, black lives. And what was originally stated as a symbol, it became an order. And, you know, the first question after I decided to stand was, do you even believe that black lives matter? And that in itself is the problem is that people equated wearing this t-shirt and kneeling for the national anthem as the end all be all to the support of black lives.

And it just not, it's just not. What's your view of the organization BLM? Well, I mean, it's, it's, it's, it's, it's changed over time. And, you know, you know, things have started to come out later and later about the way that they've, they've used funds, but from, from the very beginning, it was, it was just the tone of the message. And, and almost that the organization had the, had the ability to save the black community. And, you know, you know, from the earliest point, I rejected that, you know, I rejected the tone of the message and it's just not something that was for me. I never felt comfortable, you know, declaring that Jesus was the answer in the list of, you know, talking to people who agreed with that organization or not. But I think a lot of people did just get swept up in black lives matter, which they do.

But for me, it was that black lives don't matter more to anyone than they do to God. And so that's why I decided to stand up and, you know, salvation for anyone, black, white, and indifferent, isn't going to come through a movement. It's not going to come through legislation. It's not going to come through a party.

It's going to come through Christ. From the Fox News Podcasts Network, I'm Ben Domenech, Fox News contributor and editor of the daily newsletter. And I'm inviting you to join a conversation every week. It's the Ben Domenech Podcast.

Subscribe and listen now by going to Jonathan Isaac, our guest, Orlando Magic star. We're not talking basketball. We're really talking about life, society, and America. So black lives matter has been making this getting a lot of scrutiny because they've got tens of millions of dollars and people wondering, you know, what's happening. And a lot of the questions are coming from the black community itself saying, I thought this was there to help.

And so many corporations have given money. And again, I was just shocked by how often, how inadequate Patrice, the person who runs this organization, Patrice Crower's answers have been. Here she is describing when people ask where the money is, what she's saying. The way that the right wing media specifically has characterized the mistakes are truly anti-black. They are about this idea that black people, especially black women, don't know how to manage money, don't know how to manage funds, don't know what to do with money. And the reality is, is if any organization received tens of millions of dollars in one to two months time, everybody would be trying to figure out what you do with it.

How about just leaving it in the account until you spend it? What's your reaction? Well, it's just, it's unfortunate. It's unfortunate. And, you know, it sucks. And there were so many people who did get swept up into the movement because of the phrase black lives matter again, which they do.

And so, you know, I feel bad on the fact that I feel bad. I'm not going to say that I'm completely surprised. Again, I don't feel that an organization or the hands of people is what's going to be the answer to the hearts of men in this country changing. I know that it's going to come through Christ. And ultimately, if we can choose to love the way God loves us, which is in spite of our faults, in spite of our failures, I believe that we could see real change. So it sucks.

It's unfortunate. But, you know, you know, that these things are coming out, I think is a net positive. And we can continue to move forward and work towards, you know, the society getting better and moving forward. I mean, if you think about how much progress, there's always progress to be made. But I believe that America is the most successful multicultural country in the history of the world. And how much progress we made when you look back at even the from the 1860s of the 1960s till today, do you see that progress?

Absolutely. And I would agree with you that America is shoulders above, you know, a lot of other places in the world. And that's, again, why I appreciate the fact that I live here. You know, one thing my pastor always says about individuals, and me especially says, you know, you haven't always done everything right.

But you haven't done everything wrong either. And that's the way that I view America that, you know, the past and America hasn't done everything right, but it hasn't done everything wrong either. And the rights that it has done should be celebrated, and the wrong should continue to be worked towards them becoming better.

But again, I'm glad to live in America. And the message of ultimately Christ being the answer is the hearts of men changing at the end of the day. And us, even though there's been progress deciding even now in tragedies like George Floyd, when it is something where, you know, you have this racist shooting in Buffalo at the end of the day, that there still is room to grow in loving our neighbor past their differences, past what color of the skin they are, and wrapping our arms around people who are going through, you know, tough situations and ultimately just choosing to love in spite of politics, in spite of sides, in spite of divides. I mean, Jonathan, do you sometimes see some of this stuff and you think it's almost their intent to divide? When you see some of these news reports, some of these speeches, I'm thinking about yourself, are they trying to make things better? Or are they trying to make sure things aren't? Well, I think that there's a level of that. I think that, you know, I think it comes from everywhere.

I think there, you know, at the end of the day, people have agendas, people have ultimately, you know, what they want to come about, you know, and so they can assume power or be the ones that are in charge. But I think it's important for, you know, people to stand up and share what they believe in and encourage and not be afraid to go against, you know, whatever is the mainstream movement at the time. And just, you know, a big part of my book as well is just growing in that courage and boldness to stand up for what you believe in. And I was able to do that through developing a relationship. So, you know, that's how I was able to stand up in a moment where it was really tough to do so. How proud is your family of you?

Greatly. And not just my family, but, you know, so many people from around the country and, you know, people have been great. They've, you know, they've sent letters and emails and all these different things about not only the stand, but them reading why I stand right now. So many people have left great reviews and just are encouraged and want to stand up for what they believe in as well because of it. So I have my family, I have my wife, I have my church, my pastor, everybody so encouraged. And we're just moving forward with the message that ultimately Jesus Christ is the answer. It's not about a side, it's about who's right and wrong.

It's about us all coming together and choosing to love. And by the way, again, you guys are torturing Nick fans. You get the number one pick again, the Magic.

What are you guys doing? You already got Shaq one time. Didn't you get Penny Hardaway the next year?

And now you guys once again get number one in the lottery for the Orlando Magic. And Johnny, Jonathan, lastly, about getting vaccinated. You made a stand too. I mean, much like Kyrie Irving here in New York, he's like, I'm not getting vaccinated.

And they wouldn't let him play in New York, but he could play away games. What about what you, what was the decision not to get vaccinated? Well, honestly, the decision not to get vaccinated was fairly easy for me.

Around the time that everything was going down, I just really just decided to take a step back and kind of view where everything was going. And early on, I could tell that, you know, just the forceful nature of the vaccine coming on, there was so many people who were adamant about pushing it and making it a moral decision that if you did it, if you got it, then you were this good person. And if you didn't, if you had any type of hesitancy, wanted to ask questions about natural immunity, and, you know, the effects of the vaccine long term, you know, women and pregnant and children, all those different things, you were, you know, deemed as an evil person. And so for me, I just took a step back and said, Look, I'm young, you know, they're telling us that the survivor rate is 99.97. I don't have any comorbidities, I'm in the best shape of my life. I don't see the wisdom in, you know, putting something into my body that's not going to stop me from getting infected or transmitting this disease anyway. And again, I've already had it, I've already had COVID. So I had a level of natural immunity. And then to see people's, you know, religious freedom and, you know, the religious and medical exemptions be denied, people lose their jobs, it was easy for me to say, you know what, I want to be a voice for those people and stand up and continue to fight. And again, that's all in why I stand about, you know, the journey to how we kind of weed it through, you know, the vaccine and all those different things. So, yeah, I understand and agree.

That makes total sense. I have no problem with it. There are people on other networks who'd be outraged we've made that statement.

I'm sure you know that. I can list a whole bunch of people listening to me right now, especially in New York, where they said told nurses, doctors, anyone who works in a hospital that was there through the worst times, you're fired. Get it or you're fired.

Get a booster or you're fired. So it's been a pretty outrageous time from the George Floyd riots to the pandemic to where we are at now. Why I Stand, the name of the book. The author Jonathan Isaac has put it out.

It's his story. Jonathan, thanks so much for the quality time. Yeah, thanks so much, Brian. And again, I would just encourage everybody, you know, I really believe that this is something that we should support, not even just because of who I am, but what the message is.

I know this book is going to encourage people to inspire people all over the globe to stand up for what they believe in, to develop a relationship with Christ and ultimately make the world that we're trying to create a better place. And give my best to Pat Williams, the man who brought Orlando professional basketball. Thanks so much, Jonathan. Yes, sir. Thanks, Brian. I appreciate it.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-15 03:28:03 / 2023-02-15 03:34:51 / 7

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