NBA star Jonathan Isaac won’t get the Covid-19 vaccine and his reasons for why have seen him rack up millions of views online.
Jonathan Isaac has gone viral for his response to questions about vaccination after the NBA star revealed he did not want to get the jab.
The Orlando Magic player was referenced in a Rolling Stone article that said he was “proudly unvaccinated” and when his fellow athletes started getting their shots, Isaac “started studying Black history and watching Donald Trump’s press conferences. He learned about antibody resistance and came to distrust Dr. Anthony Fauci. He looked out for people who might die from the vaccine, and he put faith in God”.
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Isaac said he was “misrepresented” in that article and proceeded to clearly express his stance towards vaccination when questioned about it at the Magic’s media day this week.
“I am not anti-vax, I’m not anti-medicine, I am not anti-science,” Isaac said. “I didn’t come to my current stance by studying Black history or watching Donald Trump press conferences. 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 … 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.
“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. 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.”
Asked what makes him “hesitant” to get the vaccine, Isaac started by recalling his own experiences, having already been infected with Covid-19.
“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 said.
“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 having an adverse reaction to the vaccine itself.
“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.
“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 neighbour 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.”
Isaac’s responses to those vaccine questions have gone viral. One clip of his answers has been viewed more than 3.7 million times on social media.
This week the NBA revealed unvaccinated players will not be barred from competing, but will be tested more often than vaccinated players and face tougher restrictions, such as not being able to eat in the same room as vaccinated staff and teammates.
Isaac questioned whether protocols like that were logical given unvaccinated players are going to end up sharing the court with vaccinated players anyway.
A devout Christian, Isaac opened up on the role his faith in opting against being vaccinated.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Originally published as NBA star Jonathan Isaac goes viral for Covid-19 anti-vaccination response