Orlando Magic player Jonathan Isaac explained why he refuses to get the COVID-19 vaccine during a press appearance on Monday, saying that he’s already had the virus.
He argued that his understanding, among other things, is that his prior encounter with COVID-19 has likely imbued him with antibodies to fight off another COVID-19 infection. He said that taking the vaccine now might result in “an adverse reaction to the vaccine itself.”
The fourth year NBA forward made his case after a recent article in Rolling Stone about the battle over vaccine mandates in the NBA. “When NBA players started lining up for shots in March, Isaac started studying black history and watching Donald Trump’s press conferences,” the piece says.
Addressing the Rolling Stone piece directly, Isaac said he was misrepresented in the article. “I didn’t come to my current vaccination status by studying black history or watching Donald Trump press conferences,” he said.
Isaac took a stand, literally, in the middle of the societal tempest last year around police brutality, when he refused to kneel along with his teammates and the rest of the NBA before games played in the Orlando “bubble.”
Isaac is able to remain unvaccinated because the NBA vaccine mandate does not extend to the players, although it does apply to virtually all other team and league personnel. However, a major hurdle looms for unvaccinated players as city specific vaccine mandates like ones in San Francisco and New York City would keep them from being permitted inside the basketball arenas where NBA games are held.
So far, no NBA player has been granted a religious or medical exemption. (RELATED: Vaccinate NBA Stars First, Says Kareem Abdul-Jabbar)