Jonathan Isaac, a National Basketball Association (NBA) power forward with the Orlando Magic who gained a reputation for refusing to kneel during the National Anthem during the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020, launched the first basketball sneaker line with visible Bible verses on Thursday.
A video advertisement on X, formerly Twitter, features the NBA star sharing the inspiration behind the new basketball sneaker line, which features multiple different Bible verse options.
“To live bold means standing up for what you believe in. What would it look like to give people the freedom to wear their values on their feet? And just have that freedom to say this is who I am; this is what I stand for,” Isaac said. “Making a decision to be authentically you, no matter what anybody has to say about it, no matter what anybody thinks, no matter what you may face or come up against.”
In the advertisement, Isaac emphasized that a person is not defined by what they do or how good they can do something. Instead, the NBA star claimed that a person is defined by striving to be a “better version” of themselves.
“This is the first basketball sneaker with a visible Bible verse on the outside,” he added. “I tried my best to come up with Bible verses that were important to me and spoke to my journey and spoke to who I am as an individual.”
In addition to Isaac’s new line of shoes being the first basketball sneakers to feature visible Bible verses on the outside of the shoe, the NBA star highlighted the sneaker’s high level of quality, claiming that the shoe is meant for anyone.
“Whether you are on a basketball court, whether you’re a teacher, whether you are a mailman, you have the opportunity to walk in true greatness by the decision that you make each and every day,” he said.
Sharing his own faith, Isaac added, “Understanding that Christ is with me and I’m never alone gives me the strength to live bold. I can’t wait to lace them up.”
The NBA star also quoted from 2 Corinthians 4:9, one of the verses that will be featured on the basketball sneakers, which says, “persecuted for not abandoned, struck down but not destroyed.”
In a recent interview with The Daily Wire, Isaac said the idea of launching his own line of sneakers started in 2020 after he was injured. He explained that after he was injured, he was not able to re-sign his contract with Nike. When the NBA star told his pastor that he was no longer signed with a company, his pastor encouraged him to create his own brand of sneakers.
Isaac told The Daily Wire that while he thought the idea was “insane” at first, he decided to consider the possibility of creating his own line of shoes. During the process of creating his own shoes, Isaac said the initial concept “blossomed” into a larger project, as he considered the possibility of designing a line of sneakers that could represent “millions of people and the values they align with.”
“It was big for me to have a Bible verse on there. My Christian faith is the centerstone of my life,” he said. “And my middle name is Judah, so Judah’s on there and the shoe is lion inspired with the lion’s mane on the backside and the herringbone on the bottom. I just tried my best to create something that spoke to me aesthetically and had different components that spoke to me in my life.”
According to The Post Millennial, Isaac faced criticism in 2020 for repeatedly refusing to kneel during the National Anthem. During one of his games, Isaac was the only player from either team to refuse to protest the United States National Anthem.