There’s more to Jaylen Brown than basketball. Much more.
The Boston Celtics swingman is a pretty dynamic guy, to say the least. On top of being one of the NBA’s most promising young players, Brown has been one of the league’s biggest proponents of social justice and racial equality throughout his four-year career.
Brown isn’t the biggest fan of the current one-dimensional expectations for athletes, according to The Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn. He knows there’s “a lot of influence and responsibility” that comes with the role, “especially in American sports.”
That said, he doesn’t consider himself as anything special in that regard. But he does want to lend a helping hand.
“I’m not a politician,” Brown said, per Washburn. “I’m not a civil rights leader or anything like that, but I do recognize that I have a platform and hopefully I can try to enhance voices that get lost in the midst of things and also enhance all these grass-roots organizations that are devoting their time, energy, and life 24/7 to this. I just really want to enlarge those voices, but it’s less so about me, it’s about the cause and things we are fighting for.”
There’s a big platform that comes with being an NBA player, one that Brown has grown comfortable with. He’s starting to get a good grasp on how to leverage it, too.
“Any time I’m in front of a camera or I know people are going to see me, I always try to think of the people that’s watching in my community,” he said. “I’m human. I’m young. I make mistakes. I carry myself with the regard that people are going to be watching me and I want them to know that things that are cool now, that are trends, don’t have to be trends.
“The cars. The lifestyle. The women. All that type of stuff is cool, but also taking care of your family, speaking on your community, helping your community, using your voice. I want that to be cool, too. Not just who you are dating on Instagram, not what kind of car you’ve got or house you’ve got. It also should be cool that you helped your community, that you started a community store in your neighborhood. Those should be flexes, rather than the jewelry or the stuff that’s the norm for NBA players.”
Now that’s the Brown we know and love.