BOSTON Celtics forward Jaylen Brown drove 15 hours from Boston to help lead a peaceful protest in Atlanta on Saturday night, he said on a live stream of his Instagram account.
“I drove 15 hours to get to Georgia, my community,” said Brown, who is from Marietta, Ga., and is also a vice president of the National Basketball Players Association. “This is a peaceful protest. Being a celebrity, being an NBA player don’t exclude me from no conversations at all. First and foremost, I’m a black man and I’m a member of this community. … We’re raising awareness for some of the injustices that we’ve been seeing. It’s not OK.
“As a young person, you’ve got to listen to our perspective. Our voices need to be heard. I’m 23 years old. I don’t know all of the answers. But I feel how everybody else is feeling, for sure. No question.”
Brown, 23, posted a photo of himself holding a sign reading “I Can’t Breathe,” a reference to the death of George Floyd earlier this week. He was joined by Indiana Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon, who is also an NBPA vice president, and guard Justin Anderson of the Brooklyn Nets’ G League affiliate. Brogdon and Anderson played together in college at Virginia.
Floyd, who is black, died while in police custody in Minneapolis on Monday, leading to murder and manslaughter charges against officer Derek Chauvin, who is white. Fervent protests have emerged in dozens of cities across the nation this week, with some remaining peaceful and some turning violent.
Brown posted on Twitter late Saturday that three people who were part of his protest were arrested, and he asked for help in finding the names of those arrested.
Brogdon, a 27-year-old born in Atlanta, emphasized his pride in his city and his sense of purpose being part of the peaceful protest.
“This is a moment. We have leverage right now,” he said in Brown’s video. “We have a moment in time. People are going to look back, our kids are going to look back at this and say, ‘You were part of that.’ I’ve got a grandfather that marched next to [Martin Luther King Jr.] in the ‘60s, and he was amazing. He would be proud to see us all here. We got to keep pushing forward.
“Jaylen has led this charge, man, and I’m proud of him. We need more leaders.”