An NBA star who went viral for refusing to kneel during the National Anthem or wear Black Live Matters attire is set to release a new clothing line focused on stellar sports apparel and celebrating freedom.
Listen to the latest episode of CBN’s Quick Start podcast.
Jonathan Isaac of the Orlando Magic is preparing for the official launch this summer of UNITUS, a clothing company celebrating freedom and positive American values.
“UNITUS is desperately needed today because more and more brands in the sports and leisure wear space are abandoning the consumers’ desire for them to be impartial on matters of culture, spirituality, and politics,” Isaac told CBN’s Faithwire. “Many brands have overtly endorsed harmful and divisive ideologies that have left consumers looking for alternatives.”
He said there’s a profound need for a “hopeful brand bolstered by values of faith in Christ, American freedom, and family-building.”
Isaac believes UNITUS will provide products consumers will feel good about both inside and out — a rarity in today’s marketplace.
The NBA player mirrored these statements in a PragerU interview, noting some companies today have consciously decided to “either attack or undermine Christian values, conservative values.”
While Isaac said these companies have the “free choice” to do as they choose, he wants to be part of the solution and counterbalance.
“We also have a freedom to create what we want to create,” he said of UNITUS. “The hope is to be able to sign athletes across sports.”
In the end, Isaac wants to create a “real infrastructure of people” across the spectrum who want to “give their money to a company they know is going to work toward bolstering their values.”
And with cultural trends continuing to become more chaotic, Isaac believes people must decide to live out their faith values fully.
“As the day continues to get darker and darker and crazier and crazier, you standing up for what you believe in is only going to get harder,” Isaac said. “But is only going to become more necessary.”
Watch him explain in a “Faith vs. Culture” interview last year how and why he made his own decision to take a stand:
Isaac, author of the book “Why I Stand,” told CBN’s Faithwire fellow NBA players decided on July 31, 2020, to kneel during the National Anthem amid the sea of protest that followed footage of Floyd’s death.
But Isaac decided to chart a different course.
“[I was watching] what happened to George Floyd and, as tragic as it was, trying to work through what is the best way to respond or if I need to respond at all,” Isaac said. “I was almost forced to because, once we get into the bubble, there is this immense pressure on NBA players to have to kneel for the National Anthem and wear a Black Lives Matter T-shirt.”
Isaac said, in some ways, it felt like there was no choice but to go along with what everyone else was doing, but as he pondered and prayed about how to progress, he realized that a protest wouldn’t change hearts and minds.
“In the moment, I couldn’t think of a greater message or antidote for the times that we see,” he said. “Not just racism but all the things that plague the hearts of man. I couldn’t think of a better message than the Gospel.”
Rather than embrace any narrative outside of biblical truth, Isaac said he chose to cling to the Gospel and opted not to kneel or wear the BLM shirt.
— Jonathan Isaac (@JJudahIsaac) June 2, 2023
His decision wasn’t rooted in protesting or throwing hate or shade at Black Lives Matter. Instead, he said he wanted to show “the love of Christ.”
“It was really from a place of, I understand what’s going on … I understand the moment, but I know what the answer is going to be and the answer’s not going to be kneeling. The answer’s not going to be a movement or an organization,” Isaac said. “The answer’s going to be the hearts of men being changed, both black and white, both right and left.”
All of this culminated in his decision not to kneel. Isaac said he prayed before and during the headline-making moment, asking God to help him be humble. Read more about that decision here.
Now, with the dust settling on that headline-making scenario, Isaac’s apparel alternative — aptly titled UNITUS — is set to launch in August.
***As the number of voices facing big-tech censorship continues to grow, please sign up for Faithwire’s daily newsletter and download the CBN News app to stay up-to-date with the latest news from a distinctly Christian perspective.***