Celtics’ Jaylen Brown makes thoughtful statement on Kyrie Irving’s comments and racism in Boston

I have a point of view to share. I’ve kind of seen the stuff going around with Boston and the subject of racism. People around me insisted that I share my point of view. I haven’t spoken to anyone – Kyrie, Marcus, or Danny Ainge – about my thoughts or my perspective, but I think it’s a good conversation. I think racism should be fought, and / or systemic racism should be fought in the city of Boston, and it should be fought in the United States as well.

However, I don’t like the way he was brought up, in terms of centering around a playoff game. It bothers me though – building racism, doesn’t it? It is used as a crutch or an opportunity for personal gain. I’m not saying it is, but I think racism right now is more important than basketball, and I think racism is more important than Game 3 of the playoffs. So I want to urge the media to paint this narrative as well, because when painted that way it is oblivious to the people who face racism on a daily basis: the constructions and constraints of systemic racism in our school system, the inequalities in education, lack of opportunity, lack of resources, adequate housing, affordable housing, adequate health care, symbolism and the list goes on. So I recognize my privilege as an athlete. Once you reach a certain point, nothing that you go through exceeds the experiences that people have on a daily basis. So I want to stress that as well.

I understand the frustration right now. I’ve seen what’s going on in sports and in sports arenas with the two incidents, obviously with Russell Westbrook and Trae Young, and I’m pissed off, to be honest. I don’t think we should have to put up with this, and I don’t think it’s OK by any means necessary. But when I look in the media and see these related incidents as a frame of racism, yes, I think it’s important to tackle these situations. But if the topic is racism, I think these incidents don’t compare, or these belligerent comments don’t compare to what systemic racism is doing in our community now and has done in the past. It is therefore important to frame it in this context.

I think racism – I think all Celtics fans, I know not all Celtics fans in our arena are racists. We have people from all walks of life, ethnicity, color, who are die-hard Celtics fans. So I think it would be unfair to paint every Celtics fan as a racist. However, Boston, we have a lot of work to do, there is no question. The incarceration rate is ridiculous. The wealth disparity is embarrassing. Inequality in education, especially in Boston public schools, needs to be improved. There is a lack of resources there, a lack of opportunities. The symbolism here in Boston must also be addressed. But if we are going to talk about it, and this is what the media will talk about, I think that a sports arena, things can exist. But in the real world, things exist at very different ends. So I absolutely wanted to share my point of view. And that’s my opinion, of course, and people can dispute that. I really think Boston, we have a lot of work to do.

But that’s it, really. I’m not really answering questions guys, I just wanted to share my perspective. Thank you.

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