Last Friday, Jonathan Isaac of the Orlando Magic, who is an ordained Christian minister, became the first NBA player to refuse to kneel for the national anthem; he also would not wear the Black Lives Matter T-shirt his teammates were wearing.
On Sunday, as the Magic played the Sacramento Kings, Isaac suffered a season-ending ACL injury, which prompted ESPN radio host Dan Le Batard to post a poll question asking whether people thought the injury was “funny.”
— Bubba (@FinsBubba) August 3, 2020
The post prompted strong pushback. “Le Batard’s show is the epitome of far-left sports coverage,” Outkick the Coverage opined. “A player standing is so bothersome that it justified laughing at a gruesome injury. Could you imagine Le Batard running a similar poll if Colin Kaepernick went down with an injury? Of course not. He’d be met with a termination letter before he had time to check his Twitter account.”
Le Batard has called NFL owners “cowards” for not signing Kaepernick.
After the game on Friday, Isaac spoke to the press. He was asked, “Do you believe that black lives matter?”
“Absolutely. I believe that black lives matter,” he replied. “A lot went into my decision … kneeling or wearing a Black Lives Matter T-shirt don’t go hand-in-hand with supporting black lives … I do believe that black lives matter, but I just felt like it was a decision that I had to make, and I didn’t feel like putting that shirt on and kneeling went hand-in-hand with supporting black lives.”
“My life has been supported through the gospel, Jesus Christ, everyone is made in the image of God and that we all fall short of God’s glory, and that each and every one of us each and every day do things that we shouldn’t do, we say things that we shouldn’t say, we hate and dislike people that we shouldn’t hate and dislike, and sometimes it gets to a point where we point fingers about whose evil is worse, and sometimes it comes down to simply whose evil is most visible,” Isaac continued.
“I felt like I wanted to just take a stand on [it]. [I feel like] 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 we all will come to an understanding of that, and understand that God wants to have a relationship with us, that we can get past skin color, we can get past all the things in our world that are messed up, jacked up,” Isaac said. “I think when you look around, racism isn’t the only thing that afflicts our society, that plagues our nation, that plagues our world. I feel like coming together on that message, that we want to get past not only racism but everything that plagues us as a society, I feel like the answer to it is the gospel.”
Later on Monday, Le Batard issued an apology on Twitter, writing: “We apologize for this poll question. I said on the front and back end of the on-air conversation that I didn’t think it was funny. Regardless of the context, we missed the mark. We took the tweet down when we realized our mistake in how we posed the question to the audience. –Dan.”
We apologize for this poll question. I said on the front and back end of the on-air conversation that I didn’t think it was funny. Regardless of the context, we missed the mark. We took the tweet down when we realized our mistake in how we posed the question to the audience. -Dan pic.twitter.com/iL5HtFm6gs
— Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz (@LeBatardShow) August 3, 2020