Last week, Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac became an internet sensation after he declined to kneel for the national anthem or wear a Black Lives Matter T-shirt. Now, he’s making headlines once again: Isaac’s jersey sales have gone through the roof.
Top Ball Coverage, a Twitter account for NBA news, reported that Isaac’s jersey was flying off the shelves, second in sales only to LeBron James as of Sunday.
Jonathan Isaac’s jersey sales have skyrocketed after he stood for the National Anthem.— Top Ball Coverage (@TopBallCoverage) August 2, 2020
He is now number two in jerseys sales among players only behind LeBron James. pic.twitter.com/1JLwEPtLG8
Isaac has been vocal about his Christian beliefs, which he cited when asked about his decision to stand for the anthem.
“Each and every one of us do things that we shouldn't do and say things that we shouldn't say,” Isaac explained. “We hate and dislike things that we shouldn't hate and dislike, and sometimes it gets to a point where we point fingers, whose evil is worse, and sometimes it comes down to whose evil is most visible. So I felt like I wanted to take a stand on, we all make mistakes, but I think that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that there's grace for us, and that Jesus came and died for our sins and that if we all come to an understanding of that and that God wants to have a relationship with us, that we can get kept all of the things in our world that our messed up, jacked up.”
Isaac, who is black, added that he believes that black lives matter but noted that “kneeling or wearing the Black Lives Matter T-shirt doesn't go hand-in-hand with supporting Black lives.” Instead, he championed a message of unity and grace.
“I think when you look around, racism isn't the only thing that plagues our society, that plagues our nation, that plagues our world, and I think coming together on that message that we want to get past not only racism but everything that plagues as us as a society, I feel like the answer to that is Gospel,” Isaac said.
San Francisco Giants Reliever Pitcher Sam Coonrod also garnered attention when he also chose to stand for the national anthem, despite all of his fellow teammates taking a knee. When reporters questioned him, Coonrod said that as a Christian he “can’t kneel before anything besides God.” He added that he fundamentally disagrees with aspects of the Black Lives Matter organization, such as their Marxist sympathies and destruction of the nuclear family.
BRAVERY IN 2020:— Benny (@bennyjohnson) July 24, 2020
"I’m a Christian. I believe that I can’t kneel before anything besides God. I just can’t get on board with a couple things I’ve read about BLM, how they lean towards Marxism. They said some negative things about the nuclear family."
- Giants pitcher Sam Coonrod pic.twitter.com/IQzCDxCO7N
Meanwhile, both the NBA and MLB have seen their ratings plummet, despite the nation being sports-starved for months due to COVID-19.
MLB really fell off after opening day. In general, both leagues aren't getting the audience one might expect from a nation that's been deprived of entertainment for months https://t.co/GazeoR9SNB— Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) August 2, 2020
President Trump famously tweeted that as far as he’s concerned, the “game is over” when a player kneels for the national anthem. It seems the majority of American sports fans agree.