Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Issac is one of the NBA players who has been fighting back against his league’s vaccine mandates. This week, he opened up about what it has been like to reluctantly find himself in the middle of the nation’s vaccine debate.

Isaac, who has already had COVID-19, told Fox News that he is not “anti-vax” and has the “utmost respect for every health care worker” dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. That being said, he explained that he believes that the decision to get vaccinated should be left up to individuals and that this is an issue of personal freedom.

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Isaac, 23, said that he decided to take a stand on this issue because he fears that the U.S. is headed towards a precedent that freedom is negotiable in times of hardship.

“I believe that what I’m saying is rational,” he said. “And it’s free…We live in the land of the free and the home of the brave, and we have the opportunity and the platform to say what it is that we feel that is right. I’m taking that right to do so, not just for me, but for all of those people who feel like they don’t have a voice.”

Isaac then questioned the effectiveness of the vaccines. He cited the high survival rate among healthy individuals as an additional reason he does not feel the need to get vaccinated. In the end, while Isaac admits that the coronavirus has impacted the lives of millions, he believes that individual freedoms should never be sacrificed.

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In a press conference, Isaac had previously made this same point, telling reporters, “I’m not anti-medicine. I’m not anti-science. I didn’t come to my current vaccination status by studying Black history or watching Donald Trump press conferences.”

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“It is my belief that the vaccine status of every person should be their own choice and completely up to them without bullying, without being pressured or without being forced into doing so,” he added. “I’m not ashamed to say that I’m uncomfortable with taking the vaccine at this time. I think that we’re all different. We all come from different places. We’ve all had different experiences and hold dear to different beliefs. And what it is that you do with your body when it comes to putting medicine in there should be your choice, free of the ridicule and the opinion of others.”

The media will undoubtedly shame Isaac for his vaccination stance, but he seems like a young man with a good head on his shoulders. We need more independent-thinking celebrities like him in the world.

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