Not very often do we see a person leave a successful career to help someone else, and when WNBA star Maya Moore decided to do so to help free a wrongly imprisoned man, she faced a lot of criticism and ridicule.
May Moore fell to her knees Wednesday in a “worshipful moment” after her decision to sacrifice a flourishing career to see Jonathan Irons — a wrongfully imprisoned Missouri man, walk free, paid off.
In an interview, with “Good Morning America” host Robin Roberts, Moore said she was visiting extended family in Missouri when she learned her loved ones “connected with Jonathan through a prison ministry opportunity.” At the age of 16, Irons was tried as an adult for assault and burglary and was sentenced to 50 years in prison.
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: @WNBA star @MooreMaya put her basketball career on hold to help free Jonathan Irons, who was wrongly convicted of burglary and assault more than two decades ago. @RobinRobertshttps://t.co/r7NiWSW2Bh pic.twitter.com/uyIqLLNUS2
— Good Morning America (@GMA) July 2, 2020
Iron’s legal team and Moore saw a lot of loopholes in the case, and after 23 years behind bars, Irons’ conviction was overturned in March, and he was finally released Wednesday, a day which made Moore, who is a Christian, very emotional.
WNBA star Maya Moore sat out the entire season last year and helped overturn the conviction of Jonathan Irons, who was serving a 50-year prison sentence. She met Irons at his release and wore a T-shirt that said, “Do Justice / Love Mercy / Walk Humbly,” which are from the Old Testament Bible verse Micah 6:8.
WNBA star Maya Moore sat out the entire season last year and helped overturn the conviction of Jonathan Irons, who was serving a 50-year prison sentence.
He was finally released today.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 2, 2020
As for Irons, he told reporters Wednesday he feels like he can “live life now.” He said, “I’m free, I’m blessed; I just wanna live my life worthy of God’s help and influence and provision in my life,” he explained. “He made this possible. I thank everyone who supported me, Maya, and her family.”
“I’m so grateful,” he continued, showing off a face mask made for him by other inmates. “It says, ‘HOPE,’ because they need that.’” Irons told Roberts that he held no ill will against the man who wrongfully identified him as the person who robbed him. In fact, Irons said he is a victim himself of being manipulated into incorrectly naming Irons as the assailant. Irons further told him that he now wants to help those who are less fortunate and “speak to positive change” in our culture.
“I want people to have hope from this story because we’re in dark times,” he said. “We gotta keep going. We gotta keep the faith. You said something [Roberts] the other day on this show. You said, ‘When fear knocks on the door, you let faith open it.’ And this is a story of that. We’ve done that every day.”
What a remarkable story of sacrifice and hope in these times when everyone is being selfish and looking for self-gain. Maya Moore has been the hands and feet of Jesus for Irons and is an example for all to see.