Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac recently answered questions about his vaccination status during the team’s scheduled media day, Monday, September 27. During the conference, Issac also claimed he was misrepresented in a prior Rolling Stone report, concerning Isaac and other non-vaccinated NBA players. Isaac is widely known as one of the more thoughtful, conscientious players in professional basketball. 

To start his interview session, Isaac was persistent about the fact that he felt misrepresented by the Rolling Stone article. If you're not up to speed, Matt Sullivan of the Rolling Stone recently reported that:

“The Orlando Magic’s 23-year-old starting forwards is deeply religious - and proudly unvaccinated. When NBA players started lining up for shots in March, Issac 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.” 

Isaac quickly refuted the article, saying, “I am not anti-vax. I’m not anti-medicine. I’m not anti-science. I didn’t come to my current vaccination status by studying Black history or watching Donald Trump press conferences.”

He continued, “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. My mom has worked in health care for a really long time. I thank God, 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 in the first place.”

Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

As far as his own vaccination status, Isaac expressed his belief that the status of each and every person “should be their own choice and completely up to them without bullying, without being pressured or without being forced into doing so.”

Isaac acknowledged that he’s not ashamed of being uncomfortable with getting the vaccine at this time. Highlighting that everyone has different values and belief systems, the Magic forward also mentioned that his experience contracting COVID-19 has influenced his opinion, as well.

“I understand that the vaccine would help if you catch 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.” 

He continued by saying “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 that’s a couple of reasons that I would say I’m hesitant at this time.”

Isaac recognized that he is amongst the NBA’s non-vaccinated minority group, and was upfront and accepting of whatever repercussions may come with his personal decision.

“When it comes to the NBA and them having restrictions or rules in place, the NBA is free to make those decisions, and I as a member of the NBA would follow suit with whatever protocol is set before us.” 

Kim Klement-Pool/Getty Images

Isaac seemed open, and optimistic, that things would eventually figure themselves out as he and Orlando gear up for the next NBA season. 

“For me, I’ll just take everything in stride and figure out things as we move forward. I’m not set in stone. I never said I was proudly unvaccinated. Even if I am, I’m not someone to come out and say that in any way.” 

With the new basketball season looming, Isaac and other non-vaccinated players across the league will have to come to terms with their decisions and the corresponding repercussions, in accordance with the NBA.

Watch the full press conference below, and let us know your thoughts on Isaac's stance in the comment section.

[via]