Sports | July 6, 2020 3:19 pm

Celtics’ Jaylen Brown Sees NBA Restart As Social Justice Platform

The 23-year-old said the return of sports "will enhance the conversation"

Jaylen Brown Sees NBA Restart As Social Justice Platform
Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics in January 2020. (Michael Reaves/Getty)
Getty Images

Unlike his former teammate Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics sees the restart of the NBA’s season as an opportunity to add to, not detract from, the social justice movement.

Speaking with Jared Weiss and Jay King of The Athletic, the 23-year-old swingman, who is the youngest player on the NBPA’s Executive Committee, said many players initially did not want to go to Orlando to take part in the league’s restart due to concerns about COVID-19 and fears that playing basketball could take the spotlight away from the ongoing fight for racial justice in America.

But, after some thought, Brown realized playing could provide him with a platform for social justice and decided he felt comfortable with the idea of going to Orlando to play ball.

“We have to go down there and make sure that people don’t forget about George Floyd or Breonna Taylor or Philando Castile or Ahmaud Arbery or Trayvon Martin which was in the Orlando area. And the list goes on,” Brown told King. “I just want to continue to help people learn and understand some of the struggles this country has experienced for the last 400 years or so.”

Brown, who drove from Boston to Atlanta to help coordinate and lead a peaceful protest at the end of May, said the return of sports “will enhance the conversation.”

“This is bigger than me and my family. People have died to shed light on certain causes. The least I could do is play basketball,” Brown told Weiss. “A lot of our guys are choosing to go down to Orlando because we are playing for something bigger than ourselves.”

Brown did express some reservations about the league allowing players to replace the names on the back of their jerseys with messages about social justice during the restart because of the lack of options.

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