Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac gave an eloquent explanation concerning his decision to not get the COVID-19 vaccine after he was labeled “proudly unvaccinated” in a Rolling Stone article that he said “badly misrepresented” what he said.
On Monday, Isaac took questions concerning the issue and claims by Rolling Stone. “I am not anti-vax, I’m not anti-medicine, I am not anti-science,” he told reporters.
“I didn’t come to my current stance by studying black history or watching Donald Trump press conferences (as the story states). I have nothing but the utmost respect for every healthcare worker and person in Orlando and all across the world that have worked tirelessly to keep us safe,” Isaac asserted.
“My mom has worked in healthcare for a really long time. I thank God and I’m grateful that I live in a society where vaccines are possible, and we can protect ourselves and have the means to protect ourselves,” the forward stated.
(Video Credit: The Sixth Man Show)
“But with that being said, it is my belief that the vaccine status of every person should be their own choice. Completely up to them without bullying, without being pressured, without being forced into doing so,” he added.
“I’m not ashamed to say that I’m uncomfortable with taking the vaccine at this time. We’re all different. We all come from different places. We’ve all had different experiences and hold dear to different beliefs. And what it is you do with your body when it comes to putting medicine in there should be your choice, free of the ridicule and the opinion of others,” Isaac continued.
A reporter asked him what it was about the vaccination that made him hesitant to get it.
“I would start with I’ve had COVID in the past and so our understanding of antibodies, of natural immunity has changed a great deal from the onset of the pandemic and is still evolving,” Isaac noted.
“I understand that the vaccine would help if you have COVID, you’ll be able to have less symptoms from contracting it. But with me having COVID in the past and having antibodies, with my current age group and physical fitness level, it’s not necessarily a fear of mine. Taking the vaccine, like I said, it would decrease my chances of having a severe reaction, but it does open me up to the albeit rare chance but the possibility of me having an adverse reaction to the vaccine itself,” he pointed out.
Isaac touched on the monumental pressure to get the jab, and implied that sort of demonization will only backfire.
“I don’t believe that being unvaccinated means infected or being vaccinated means uninfected. You can still catch COVID with or without having the vaccine. I would say honestly the craziness of it all in terms of not being able to say that it should be everybody’s fair choice without being demeaned or talked crazy to doesn’t make one comfortable to do what said person is telling them to do,” Isaac explained.
“I would say I’m hesitant at this time but at the end of the day I don’t feel that it is anyone’s reason to come out and say well this is why or this is not why, it should just be their decision. Loving your neighbor is not just loving those who agree with you or look like you or move in the same way that you do. It’s loving those who don’t,” he declared.
Misrepresentation only allows for others to attack straw men, and not reason with the true ideas and heart of their fellow man. It helps no one! True journalism is dying! I believe it is your God given right to decide if taking the vaccine is right for you! Period! More to follow
— Jonathan Isaac (@JJudahIsaac) September 26, 2021
“When it comes to being religious, I think God calls us all to be wise,” Isaac said answering a question about religion factoring into his decision. “I think there are people who believe that Jesus is alive, that he’s a protector, that’s he’s a healer, that’s he’s a friend, that you can trust him before you trust in any man. I’m not ashamed to say I’m one of those people.”
“But at the end of the day, God calls us to be wise and lean to our own convictions on what it is that we want to do, and that’s how I feel about the vaccine. Everyone should be free to make their own decision and choice. And I feel that God could be leading two different people in the same place in two completely different directions. And if their conviction is as a believer or as any faith that I decided to take the vaccine, then I’ll stand with them. If there’s anyone that says based on my belief and my conviction, I don’t want to take it, I would be right there to stand with that person as well,” he proclaimed.
In July 2020, Isaac made the decision to stand during the National Anthem while his teammates and opponents knelt in protest of racial injustice. His conservative stances have put him at the center of controversy but he stands very strong in his beliefs.
Isaac’s thoughtful response was applauded on social media:
When brave NBA players talk to the media and set the record straight….
We are in a bizzaro world.
NBA might be my new favorite sport…
— alex hernandez (@alexman_hdz) September 28, 2021
Literally the most thoughtful 2 min sound bite of the entire pandemic. Nothing any politician or scientist has said in the past 20 months even comes close.
— Douche McBaggins (@water4323) September 28, 2021
So impressed with this young man…calm, informed, logical explanation.
He is right on! Love your neighbour whether you agree on this issue or not.
— Josephine V (@Josephinev_11) September 28, 2021
Yes!!🙌🙌🙌 Put him in front of the mic more. Well spoken, thoughtful, respectful, and FACTUAL!! Love this so much!!❤️❤️
— Black Dahlia 💋☠️🕸 (@ArtofWar45) September 28, 2021
— Rhyming Mama (@sarabellab123) September 28, 2021
— R. Lamartiniere, MD (@rlamartini) September 28, 2021
— David M (@ComradeDoom1) September 28, 2021
Id like to hug him. 🥰 ( incredibly articulate – he would be a great doctor).
— HappyCamper (@sanazhar310) September 28, 2021
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