Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown hopes the negative reaction to Philadelphia Eagles wideout DeSean Jackson's anti-Semitic comments and ex-NBAer Stephen Jackson's defense of them doesn't discourage athletes from speaking out on social matters - as long as they've educated themselves first.
Asked about the situation Friday, Brown urged his peers to keep using their platforms, though admitted he wasn't completely familiar with what the two men had said.
"I would still like to encourage athletes to speak out on things. Not only are we athletes or NBA players or entertainers, we also have obligations to our community, obligations to our family, etc. So, a lot of times when we speak, we represent them," Brown said, according to The Athletic's Jared Weiss. "So, I want to still encourage NBA players and people with influence to do so, even though media might think otherwise, other people might think otherwise. I think that's a form of an oppressive thought to try to silence our voices."
In May, the 23-year-old drove 15 hours from Boston to his hometown of Atlanta to participate in a protest of the police killing of George Floyd.
"A lot of times, athletes feel uncomfortable speaking on topics because either they don't want to get ridiculed by the media, or they haven't really put the time in to do the research on something," Brown said. "So, I want to encourage entertainers to not be discouraged by what happened with DeSean Jackson and continue to use your voice and platform. Just use it responsibly. Do your research, ask questions, call up people to talk about things. And when you feel comfortable talking about it, talk about it."
DeSean Jackson shared anti-Semitic quotes falsely attributed to Adolf Hitler, and Stephen Jackson later defended the comments. The three-time Pro Bowler has since apologized and was disciplined by the Eagles on Friday for conduct detrimental to the team.