During today’s media availability, Jaylen Brown touched on numerous talking points ranging from social justice issues to the reservations held among his Celtics teammates on the NBA’s planned restart in the Orlando bubble.
Brown has been a vocal advocate for change throughout his young career, using his platform for the greater good especially over the last few months. When speaking on the league’s approved list of messages that players could use on their jerseys, he was hopeful that additional options could be added before play potentially resumes at the end of the month.
“I would like to see more options available to put on the bask of our jersey...For issues and causes such as now, I think that list is an example of a form of limitations...I was very disappointed in the list.”
Brown went on to offer some additional choices he feels could be beneficial in pursuing change.
Jaylen Brown said he would like to see additional options added for messages players can put on the back on their jerseys. He said some that come to mind are break the cycle, results and inequality by design.— Amanda_Pflugrad (@Amanda_Pflugrad) July 6, 2020
As the social movement continues to push the conversation, Brown is keen to ensure that the message remains far beyond the resumption of professional sports:
“I think that there is an understanding and an enlightenment going on during this time, and I definitely am a part of that movement. I want to help people learn and understand some of the struggles that this country has experienced for the last 400 years or so.”
Brown then further elaborated:
“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.”
Jaylen Brown: "Relationships between the police force and the rest of society -- that relationship needs to improve."— Chris Grenham (@chrisgrenham) July 6, 2020
Jaylen later said that police brutality is what we're talking about right now, but it's only the tip of the iceberg.
When asked to reflect on his decision to participate in the league’s resumption, Brown provided some information regarding the team’s mindset when the restart was first proposed:
“A lot of us just initially, even on this team, just didn’t want to go.”
The 6’6’ forward continued to explain his reasoning for participating, citing that playing and making a statement (on social justice reform) is more significant than himself:
“I think initially a lot of guys didn’t want to go. I think the ability to play for something bigger than yourself, I think guys would sign up for that 9 times out if 10. Make that 10 times out of 10.”
With such a prominent role within the NBPA, Brown provided insight on how the union is helping push the conversation by providing voices to their members and staff across the league:
“They think critically. They think with a level-headedness that I appreciate...We push the agenda we want to push for the players, for the overall 450, is what I respect the most. I’m the youngest out of the executive committee, so I want to listen more than I want to talk. I like to chime in and add my voice because … As an opinionated 23-year-old, my voice, they allow it to be heard and I appreciate that.”
While committed to the goal of winning a championship, Brown understands the gravity of the situation outside of basketball. It’s that understanding and drive to affect change which has lead Brown to become the youngest NBPA executive on the committee.