Jaylen Brown had nothing to say about the Boston Celtics' 116-115 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night. He didn't want to talk about basketball at all.
Brown instead addressed the recent police shooting in Minnesota. Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, was shot and killed Sunday by a police officer in Brooklyn Center, a suburb of Minneapolis. Protesters were out for a third straight night on Tuesday. The trial of Derek Chauvin, the police officer charged with killing George Floyd in Minneapolis last May, is also ongoing in the city.
Brown: 'Your life has value'
Brown has been an influential voice over the past year and spoke directly to fans after the game.
His comments in full:
"We shouldn't be pleading and persuading people to see things for what they are. We know what this system is and we know what it's capable of. But if you're watching this, listening, or tuning in, I just want you to know that your life has value. So much value that they're trying so hard to make you feel otherwise. My life has value. My life has value before I played for the Celtics and it will long after. At some point you realize what you're dealing with.
"The power has and always will be with the people. You've got to stand up and fight for others to listen. What other solution do we have? That's really all I got."
Brown traveled from Boston to Atlanta, his hometown, last year to join protests over Floyd's death. He was supportive of the Milwaukee Bucks' decision to sit out a playoff game after the shooting of Jacob Blake and has remained outspoken regarding inequality.
NBA speaks out about Daunte Wright's death
Athletes and sports figures have taken to social media to voice anger over Wright's death and NBA stars are using post-game media calls to address it. Coaches Gregg Popovich and Doc Rivers both spoke out on Monday night.
Wright was pulled over for a traffic violation on Sunday in Brooklyn Center when police discovered he had an outstanding warrant, police said. When they tried to handcuff him, he stepped back into the car and an officer shot him. He drove away and crashed the vehicle. Wright was pronounced dead at the scene.
Brooklyn Center police released body-camera footage of it on Monday afternoon, in part prompting the Minnesota Twins, Timberwolves and Wild to all postpone their respective games that day. Police chief Tim Gannon said he believed the officer, later identified as Kim Potter, accidentally used her gun while trying to use her taser.
She submitted her resignation Tuesday, before the department could complete the internal investigation. Gannon also resigned Tuesday.
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