jonathan isaac

Christian NBA player Jonathan Isaac recently released a new line of basketball sneakers with visible Bible verses on the exterior of the footwear. The new footwear, reportedly the first basketball sneakers with Bible verses printed on the back exterior of each pair, features different Bible verses, including 2 Corinthians 4:9 and Romans 8:37.

Isaac announced on X that his new apparel line, UNITUS, released the first JUDAH 1 Triumph in November. The 26-year-old Orlando Magic forward wrote in an X post, “Most people see the ‘Judah 1’ as an outlandish endeavor. Shoot, when we first started, so did I. I was afraid that delivering a sneaker that represented our values without compromising style or performance was too tall a task. But, here we are; the first basketball sneaker with visible Bible verses becomes available.”

Isaac continued, “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.” Second Corinthians 4:9 reads, “persecuted, but not abandoned;
struck down, but not destroyed.” Romans 8:37 states, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” In a promotional video, Isaac said his vision for the Scripture-inclusive sneakers was to encourage others “to live boldly,” which he defined as “standing up for what you believe in.”

Isaac said, “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?’ 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.” He hopes the new sneakers will be respected as “real basketball sneakers.” He said, “When it comes to the on-court performance of the shoe, what I absolutely needed it to be was a real basketball sneaker. It’s robust. It is strong. I’m excited for people to check it out and get their hands on it.”

Isaac is outspoken about his beliefs. Also an ordained Christian minister, he made headlines in 2020 for refusing to kneel during the National Anthem alongside his teammates who were wearing jerseys supporting BLM.  Signed initially to Nike as a brand ambassador in 2020, Isaac said he left Nike to launch his UNITUS clothing line, which is described as “a high-quality apparel line that celebrates faith and family values.”

Isaac said he knew he had a choice to either complain or create a brand distinct from more liberal-leaning companies. He told The Christian Post, “The conversation has been framed in a way where if you don’t agree with these set values and precepts, then you’re automatically deemed as hateful. It’s not just that you have a different set of opinions; it’s that your opinions, if they are aligned with Christ, they align with family, if they align with traditional values, then you’re seen as a hateful person.”

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