Kyrie Irving sparked a conversation about racism in Boston with his comments after Celtics-Nets Game 2.
A couple of Irving's former teammates, Marcus Smart and Tristan Thompson, responded to his remarks with their own experiences of racism in Boston. Celtics star Jayson Tatum added that while he hasn't had racist taunts directed at him, it "should not be tolerated."
Jaylen Brown joined the conversation before Friday night's Game 3.
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The Celtics' All-Star wing took the podium to deliver a powerful statement on the issue of racism in Boston and the United States as a whole.
"I have a perspective to share. I've kind of seen the things floating around with Boston and the topic of racism and people around me urge that I should share my perspective. I have not talked to anyone, Kyrie, Marcus, or Danny Ainge about my thoughts or my perspective, but I do think it's a good conversation.
"I think that racism should be addressed and/or systemic racism should be addressed in the city of Boston. It also should be addressed in the United States. However, I do not like the manner it was brought up in terms of centering around a playoff game. It bothers me if the construct of racism is used as a crutch or an opportunity to execute a personal gain. I'm not saying that's the case, but I do think racism right now is bigger than basketball. I do think racism is bigger than Game 3 of the playoffs. So I want to urge the media to paint that narrative as well. Because when it's painted in that manner it's insensitive to people who actually are dealing with racism on a daily basis.
"The constructs and the constraints of systemic racism in our school system, inequality in education, lack of opportunity, lack of resources, adequate housing, affordable housing, adequate health care, tokenism, the list goes on. I recognize my privilege as an athlete but once you get to a certain point nothing that you experience overtakes the experiences that people deal with on a daily basis. So I want to emphasize that as well.
"I know that every Celtics fan in our arena is not a racist. We have people of all walks of life, ethnicities, colors that are diehard Celtics fans. So I think by painting every Celtics fan as a racist would be unfair. However, Boston, we've got a lot of work to do. No question. Incarceration rate is ridiculous. The wealth disparity is embarrassing. The inqueality in education specifically in Boston Public Schools needs to be better. There's lack of resources there, lack of opportunity. The tokenism here in Boston needs to be addressed as well. ...
"I definitely think, Boston, we've got a lot of work to do."
Brown notably drove from Boston to Atlanta to lead a peaceful protest following last year's murder of George Floyd. The 24-year-old has been outspoken on the issue of systemic racism and continues to be a leader for the C's both on and off the court.
You can hear Brown's entire statement in the video above.