Celtics’ Jaylen Brown speaks out against toxic fan culture and systemic racism in Boston
Jaylen Brownone of the most consistent players of the boston celtics, recently opened up about his experience as a Black athlete in the team. In an interview with Sopan Deb of the New York TimesBrown addressed the negative treatment that some Boston fans have towards Black athletes.
He said: “I have, but I pretty much block it all out. It’s not the whole Celtic fan base, but it is a part of the fan base that exists within the Celtic nation that is problematic. If you have a bad game, they tie it to your personal character.”
Brown also spoke with ESPN’s Tim Bontemps in May 2021 about systemic racism and his experience in Boston. While he acknowledged that not every Celtics fan is racist, he recognized the need for improvement in various aspects such as the city’s wealth disparity, inequality in education, and tokenism.
Other NBA stars have complained about Boston fans’ behavior
Draymond Greena veteran of the Golden State Warriors, also shared his negative experience with Boston fans. During the 2022 NBA Finalswhich the Celtics lost to the Warriors in six games, Green recalled Boston fans directing racial slurs towards him and Stephen Curry. I told ESPN’s Kendra Andrews: “It took a while to adjust to it … it was just so unexpected. It caught me off guard.”
Even Lebron James has voiced his opinion on Boston’s racism. During an appearance on HBO’s The Shop in July, James was asked, “Why do you hate Boston?” to which he responded, “Because they’re racist as f–k.”
The racism in Boston isn’t a new issue, and it’s not only limited to athletes. celtics legend Bill Russellwho won 11 championships with the franchise, described Boston as “a flea market of racism” in his 1979 memoir, Second Wind. Other former Celtics, including Hall of Famer KC Joneshave also described the racism they experienced in Boston.
This season, Brown has also been a victim of unwarranted criticism from fans. The Celtics have had high expectations in recent years, and after reaching the NBA Finals last season, the pressure is on. The team was in first place in the Eastern Conference for much of the 2022-23 season but is now two games behind the Milwaukee Bucks.