Jaylen Brown’s feelings on Celtics fans are decidedly mixed.
In a wide-ranging interview with the New York Times, Brown, who’s averaging a career-high 26.7 points per game this season, said there is a section of Celtics fans who discourage athletes from advocating for social causes.
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“I definitely think there’s a group or an amount within the Celtic nation that is extremely toxic and does not want to see athletes use their platform, or they just want you to play basketball and entertain and go home,” he said. “And that’s a problem to me.”
Brown also called some Celtics fans “problematic,” and said they tie bad games to players’ “personal character.”
This isn’t the first time Brown has voiced his displeasure with some segments of his team’s fan base. Last year, he told Sports Illustrated he still thinks about getting booed on draft night when the Celtics selected him with the No. 3 overall pick in 2016.
“[Wyc] Grousbeck had to defend, like, ‘This is who we’re going with. You guys just gonna have to live with it.’ And I was like, ‘This is crazy.’ These guys have never seen me play before or, you know, I haven’t even got the opportunity,” he said. “It’s kind of trended like that my whole career.”
Brown’s feelings on Celtics fans are especially pertinent, given his contractual status. The rising star could be a free agent after next season.
When asked about his potential free agency, Brown praised Boston, saying he’s been able to “meet a lot of amazing families who have dedicated their lives to issues about change.”
He spoke in less glowing terms when talking about his business experiences in the city, however.
“There’s not a lot of room for people of color, Black entrepreneurs, to come in and start a business,” he said. “Even being an athlete, you would think that you’ve got a certain amount of influence to be able to have experiences, to be able to have some things that doors open a little bit easier. But even with me being who I am, trying to start a business, trying to buy a house, trying to do certain things, you run into some adversity.”
It’s apparent Brown enjoys playing with his teammates and chasing a championship with them. But what about everything else?