Written By @cabbagepatchgrl
Wednesday on Good Morning America, Maya Moore, basketball star turned activist, revealed that she and Jonathon Irons had gotten married.
” We wanted to announce today that we are super excited to continue the work that we are doing together, but doing it as a married couple,” Moore said.” We got married a couple months ago, and we’re excited to just continue this new chapter of life together.”
The pair wanted to share exclusive details of how their love blossomed from a friendship after she helped free him from prison following his wrongful conviction.
During the pandemic, the couple celebrated their nuptials, and Moore said it did not take away from their special occasion. Guests were asked to wear masks and social distance, but the couple was able to celebrate their special moment with their closest loved ones.
The couple’s relationship began to progress romantically overtime after Moore, 31, met Jonathon through a prison ministry program when she was 18.
” Over the last 13 years we have just developed a friendship and just entered into this huge battle to get him home, and just over time it was pretty clear what the Lord was doing in our hearts, and now we’re sitting here today, starting a whole new chapter together,” said Moore.
She added that what she loves the most about her husband is that he is able to rise above adversity and his strong faith in God.
While Jonathon was still at Jefferson Correctional Center, he told Moore that he wanted to be close and remain friends. He then revealed to her that he wanted her to marry him, but said, “don’t answer right now.”
” I wanted to marry her but at the same time protect her because being in a relationship with a man in prison, it’s extremely difficult and painful. And I didn’t want her to feel trapped, and I wanted her to feel open and have the ability any time if this is too much for you, go and find somebody. Live your life. Because this is hard,” he said.
However, Irons said that when he finally popped the question, it was worth the wait.
” When I got out, we were in the hotel room we had some friends in the room, it was winding down, and we were extremely tired, but we were still gassed up on excitement,” he said.” It was just me and her in the room and I got down on my knees, and I looked up at her, and she kind of knew what was going on, and I said, ‘will you marry me,’ she said, ‘yes,'” recalled Irons.
When Irons was 16 years old, he was wrongfully convicted by an all-white jury for a burglary and the shooting of Stanley Stotler, 38.
In March, a Missouri judge overturned his conviction, saying that there were problems with the case and the way Irons was tried. There was also a fingerprint report that would’ve proved Irons’ innocence, but it was never given to his defense team.
Despite the unfortunate events, Irons, 40, said he doesn’t feel resentment toward the man who wrongly identified him, adding that Stotler was a victim as well. Irons spent most of his life in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.
Now, in the wake of his release, the couple is enjoying their new normal and new life, participating in activities that neither have been able to do for a while.
But when it comes to their work together, the two are focused on spreading the word about local elections and getting people to make a real impact in their communities about voting with their Win With Justice’s “Get Out the Vote” campaign.
“We’re basically trying to just educate the public, get them engaged in the voting process and just being more involved in what’s going on with our country and our government and local jurisdictions, prosecuting offices,” Moore said, adding that they want people “to be aware and pay attention because if you don’t pay attention, things can get out of hand and become harmful to our country.”
The couple also hopes to continue to help others who have been wrongfully convicted, especially those who don’t have the” same resources or the blessings that I have been blessed with.”
” Hopefully, I can continue to do and whatever else, you know, that we can contribute to the fight because it’s a big fight and the more hands involved makes the work easier. So we’re doing our part,” he said.
Even though Moore has taken a break from basketball, she said,” I’m still trying to be so present in this second year away from the game.”
” I’m hoping sometime in the spring we’ll be able to have a next step moving forward, but right now, I am trying to really just breathe from this long, long battle and enjoy and rest,” Moore continued.” There’s a lot of unknowns for a lot of us right now, so I’m still in that camp,” says Moore.
According to GMA anchor Robin Roberts, the newlyweds will be getting a documentary by Rock’n Robin productions, who has teamed up with ESPN.