Jaylen Brown holds a microphone and speaks to the crowd in 2020

Pregame Post-Ups: Brown Speaks on Racism Ahead of Game 3

Celtics Playoffs presented by Putnam Investments & Arbella Insurance

Friday, May 28 - Game 3 - Nets at Celtics

Pregame – Brown Speaks on Racism in Impromptu Presser

Jaylen Brown surprised the Celtics and the media with an impromptu press conference prior to Game 3 of the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

Brown sat down in front of the camera at 7:23 p.m. and made a lengthy statement while fielding no questions.

“I have a perspective to share,” he said, “kinda seeing the things floating around with Boston and the topic of racism, and the people around me urged that I should share my perspective.”

Brown, one of the league’s most recognizable faces on the social justice front, made it be known that while racism may exist in the form of what Russell Westbrook and Trae Young experienced this week on the basketball court, the topic should not be discussed particularly with its relation to sports.

“I think racism right now is bigger than basketball,” he stated. “I think that racism is bigger than Game 3 of the Playoffs. So I want to urge the media to paint that narrative as well, because when it’s painted in that manner, it’s insensitive so people who are actually dealing with racism on a daily basis, on the constructs and the constraints of systemic racism in our school system, inequality in education, lack of opportunity, lack of resources, adequate/affordable housing, adequate health care, tokenism and the list goes on.

“So I recognize my privilege as an athlete, but once you get to a certain point, nothing that you experience overtakes the experience that people deal with on a daily basis.”

Brown went on to state that he is “pissed” about what Westbrook, Young and others have dealt with from a racism perspective while playing the game of basketball, but reiterated again that their experiences pale in comparison to what many Americans experience each and every day.

“When I look in the media and I see those incidents attached to, like, the frame of racism, yes I think it’s important to address those situations,” Brown commented. “But if the topic is racism, I think that those incidents don’t compare – or those belligerent comments – don’t compare to what systemic racism is currently doing in our community and has done in the past.”

Brown then made specific comments concerning racism in the city of Boston.

“I know that every Celtics fan in the arena is not a racist,” stated Brown. “We have people of all walks of life, ethnicities, colors, that are die-hard Celtics fans. So I think by painting every Celtics fan as a racist would be unfair. However, in Boston we’ve got a lot of work to do. No question. Incarceration rate is ridiculous. The wealth disparity is embarrassing. The inequality in education specifically in Boston public schools needs to be better. There’s lack of resources there, lack of opportunity. Tokenism here in Boston needs to be addressed as well.”

- Marc D'Amico


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