Celtics

In or out of the Bubble, Celtics' Jaylen Brown keeps the conversations about systemic change going

Celtics

Jaylen Brown was about halfway out of his seat at the end of his interview with the media on Sunday before he stopped himself. 

Before the Boston Celtics had entered the 22-team NBA Bubble in Orlando, Fla., Brown was going back and forth about what was the best way to continue using his platform to highlight some of the societal injustices that he has protested and have become widely discussed topics in our country lately.

There was concern that players entering the Bubble would forget or ignore those issues, becoming insulated from the cause that so many had backed outside of the Bubble. 

Brown made it clear that the concerns he had expressed repeatedly, whether it was through a social media post or putting his boots to the ground and walking in protest through the streets of Atlanta, the message wasn’t going to die while he prepared for the restart of the season.

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In fact, the message that he and so many others showed a high level of commitment to previously, would only be amplified whenever the opportunity presented itself inside the Bubble. 

That was indeed the case on Sunday as Brown closed out his time with the media discussing his thoughts on the death of Breonna Taylor. 

Taylor was killed in March by four Louisville Metro Police officers who executed a no-knock warrant for her apartment, a law that has since been changed (referred to by many as “Breonna’s law”)  following a unanimous vote by the Louisville’s Metro Council to ban its use.

Taylor, who was not the target of the warrant, was shot eight times from the more than 20 shots fired by the LMPD officers.

Her boyfriend Kenneth Walker who was licensed to carry a firearm, believed the officers were intruders, and fired back.

Taylor was the only one killed in the gunfire exchange.

“I know it’s a hot topic in conversation,” Brown said on Sunday. “I guess where the line is drawn, or where the outrage comes from is you look at the case. You look at since things settled down, Louisville has abolished the no-knock warrant where now you have to knock if you have a warrant instead of just breaking into somebody’s home.”

In the case of Taylor, the officers had the wrong home.

“I understand the protocol that the officers have to follow, but I think a lot of people’s problems aren't just with the officers, it’s with the establishment.”

Indeed, while there has been an increased call for the nation to address police brutality in light of the recent deaths of Taylor, George Floyd and a host of other Black men and women in which police officers were videotaped engaging in the individual’s deaths, all of those concerns fall under the push for systemic change which is what Brown and so many other athletes across the planet are making a point of discussing whenever the opportunity presents itself.

“We understand what the protocol is, but the protocol needs to change,” Brown said. “Things need to improve. We see the improvements being made, but I feel like continuing to have people speak on these things and continuing to have them talk about it, is going to be important. 

Brown added, “For us, equality is demanded and Black Lives Matter. And Breonna Taylor is an example of a Black life that was taken because of how the system has been laid out. And we’re going to continue to protest and continue to feel some type of way about it. It’s unfortunate, but these conversations need to continue to be had, for sure.”