As part of his new faith-based apparel line, NBA player Jonathan Isaac is launching the first basketball sneakers with visible Bible verses. Triumph, the initial JUDAH 1 shoe from the outspoken Christian’s Unitus clothing line, drops Thursday, Nov. 16. It features 2 Corinthians 4:9—“…persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.”
In a video promoting the shoes, Isaac says, “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.” The Orlando Magic forward, 26, has made headlines for his opposition to the Black Lives Matter organization and COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
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… pic.twitter.com/ErnMkhMtB5
— Jonathan Judah Isaac (@JJudahIsaac) November 14, 2023
In his 2022 book “Why I Stand,” Isaac described why he didn’t kneel for the national anthem during social justice protests in 2020. The athlete has received praise from conservative religious and political leaders for being “anti-woke.”
Jonathan Isaac on Living Boldly
Jonathan Isaac’s promo video for his new shoes begins, “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’?” He continued, “Who you are is not defined by what you do, how good you are at something. Who you are is defined by striving to become a better version of yourself.”
The new shoes aren’t just for athletes, Isaac noted: “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 decisions that you make each and every day.”
Isaac credited Jesus’ presence for empowering him. “Understanding that Christ is with me and I’m never alone gives me the strength to live bold,” he said.
In a social media post, the athlete admitted he initially thought the challenge of “delivering a sneaker that represented our values without compromising style or performance was too tall a task… But here we are!!”
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Jonathan Isaac’s shoe announcement earned retweets from high-profile figures including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Lara Trump, and Ben Shapiro. DeSantis, a Republican candidate for the 2024 presidential nomination, posted on X (formerly Twitter), “Proud of Jonathan and his launching of a Florida business. We need more leaders like him who stand strong when others bend the knee to the ‘PC police’. Wishing him success as he adds to Florida’s #1 state economy.”