Orlando Magic's Jonathan Isaac explains refusal of COVID-19 vaccine at right-wing conspiracy conference

click to enlarge Orlando Magic's Jonathan Isaac explains refusal of COVID-19 vaccine at right-wing conspiracy conference
Screenshot via Orlando Magic

Jonathan Isaac hasn't seen the court since suffering an ACL injury in 2020, but that hasn't stopped the Orlando Magic star from making headlines. Isaac appeared at a right-wing conspiracy conference over the weekend to tout his negative views of the COVID-19 vaccine and athletes' protest of police brutality.

Isaac is one of the few NBA players who has famously refused the vaccine. He spoke at the ReAwaken America tour among Trump dead-enders and conspiracy hawkers like General Michael Flynn, Clay Clark and Trump's son Eric.

"It seemed forced. It seemed like there was so much pressure in doing it," Isaac said of his decision to forgo the coronavirus vaccine. "I'm young. I'm healthy. I'm an athlete and I already had COVID in the past."

Isaac noted that he's the only player on the Magic to refuse the vaccine.

“I don’t see the wisdom in putting something into my body that’s not going to stop me from getting the virus," he told the enthusiastic crowd.

Isaac also spoke out on his decision to not kneel during the anthem while his fellow players were quietly protesting police brutality in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. Isaac said his views as a Christian kept him from getting involved with what he saw as a fight between the right and the left.

"I tried my best to see it in the right way. I didn't view it as an African-American. I didn't view it as a conservative. I didn't view it as a liberal. I tried my best to...see it the way Christ would see it," he said, before comparing it to the arrest of Jesus by the Romans.

The ReAwaken America tour has been decried by some faith leaders as a publicity campaign for a nasty form of Christian Nationalism and pro-insurrection rhetoric.  Rally host Clay Clark has said that the vaccine will turn people into zombies with a taste for human flesh.

Stay on top of Central Florida news and views with our weekly newsletters, and consider supporting this free publication. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you Central Florida news, and every little bit helps.