Jaylen Brown has opinions, and he’s not afraid to share them.
Those who know the 21-year-old Boston Celtics guard are well aware of this. But Brown’s thoughts landed on a global platform Tuesday, as he touched on a number of societal issues in a revealing interview with the Guardian’s Donald McRae.
Brown spoke at length about racism in America, detailing the discrimination he experienced firsthand growing up in Marietta, Ga.
“Racism definitely still exists in the South,” Brown told McRae before the Celtics traveled to London, where they’ll play the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday. “I’ve experienced it through basketball. I’ve had people call me the n-word. I’ve had people come to basketball games dressed in monkey suits with a jersey on. I’ve had people paint their face black at my games. I’ve had people throw bananas in the stands.”
The Cal product then explained how racism manifests itself in 2018, taking aim at President Donald Trump in the process.
“… Racism definitely exists across America today,” Brown said. “Of course it’s changed a lot — and my opportunities are far greater than they would have been 50 years ago. So, some people think racism has dissipated or no longer exists. But it’s hidden in more strategic places. You have less people coming to your face and telling you certain things. But Trump has made it a lot more acceptable for racists to speak their minds.”
Brown also criticized Trump for demanding a “thank you” from LiAngelo Ball after the president helped the UCLA guard avoid a more serious punishment for shoplifting in China.
“It’s ridiculous,” Brown said. “What happened to people doing things out of the generosity of their heart or because it was the right thing to do? There have been multiple situations where it’s been ridiculous but that one was like: ‘OK I’m done. I’m done listening to anything you have to say.’
“A 19-year-old kid makes a mistake overseas and (Trump) demands an apology from his dad? I think Trump’s unfit to lead.”
Brown hit on a number of other topics — including his stance on Colin Kaepernick’s protest, the notion that he’s “too smart” for his own good and his view on how sports is a “mechanism of control” in America — in the interview, which is well worth a full read.
Thumbnail photo via Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports Images