By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — In his four years in the NBA, Celtics guard Jaylen Brown has proven to be an extremely talented basketball player. But he is much, much more than that, as he continues to be a powerful voice in the league.
Brown may be just 23 years old, but he has been an active and vocal leader in the NBA’s fight for racial equality. He is one of six vice presidents of the NBPA, the youngest member of the nine-man committee. He had some very powerful things to say earlier this week as players started contemplating a potential boycott, showing his raw emotions over the current state of the country.
And when players and the league made a statement on Wednesday by postponing its three playoff games in light of the Jacob Blake shooting — the latest instance of a Black man being shot by police — Brown has once again stepped up to the forefront of the fight.
The Milwaukee Bucks got the ball rolling Wednesday afternoon when the team refused to take the floor for its 4 p.m. game against the Orlando Magic. A short time later, the NBA announced that it had postponed all three playoff games that day, and there will be a meeting on Thursday to discuss the league going forward. Boston’s playoff game against the Toronto Raptors on Thursday night is now in doubt, along with the rest of the playoffs.
The remaining teams in the NBA bubble held a spirited meeting Wednesday night, one that lasted nearly three hours. During that meeting, Brown issued a challenge to his fellow players. With the possibility that the NBA sends players home to better send their message, Brown wants to make sure that players take full advantage of this opportunity, according to ESPN’s Marc J. Spears.
“Jaylen Brown also asked them, ‘If you guys leave here, are you just going to leave and go chill and hang out with your families and lose that loneliness? Or are you going to be in the trenches? Are you going to be in the streets?'” Spears reported on Wednesday night’s SportsCenter.
.@MarcJSpears: "Jaylen Brown also asked them, 'If you guys leave here, are you just going to leave and go chill and hang out with your families and lose that loneliness? Or are you going to be in the trenches? Are you going to be in the streets?'" pic.twitter.com/tikik945vu
— Chris Grenham (@chrisgrenham) August 27, 2020
Brown used his status as a rising NBA star to hold a peaceful protest in his home state of Georgia earlier this summer, following the death of George Floyd. And if the NBA bubble comes to an end and players are sent home, it’s pretty much a guarantee that he’d be right back at it again. He’s adamant that everyone in the league should do the same.
Players and league officials are set to meet again Thursday morning as they discuss the immediate future of the league and how it can affect changes in racial equality going forward. It’s pretty safe to say that Brown will have an active voice throughout that discussion.