Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown said he does not endorse the group of protesters who lined up Sunday outside of Barclays Center prior to the return of Brooklyn Nets All-Star guard Kyrie Irving from suspension.
Brown said that he was happy to see support for Irving getting to make his return to the court.
According to ESPN’s Jamal Collier, members of Israel United in Christ, which has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, handed out flyers before Sunday’s game that read: “The Truth About Anti-Semitism” and “The Truth about Slavery.”
Brown said Monday that he did not realize the group’s message when he retweeted a video of the group with the caption “Energy.”
“I saw a large group of our people from our community showing support for [Kyrie] and his return,” Brown said, per the report. “Me being proud of that support and being proud of our community for doing that does not mean I endorse or celebrate some of the things that were being done or being said.
“My instinct when I saw this was I didn’t notice which group it was. I just noticed the support, and that’s what I commented on. I reemphasize that I don’t think that everything that is said or being done or being said is something I endorse or represent.”
Brown said he simply wanted to promote “Brown and Black people standing together on our issues rather than seeing images of violence in our media, music and movies that we don’t entirely promote or profit from.”
“I’ve been in contact as a union member, as a former teammate just to show support for the situation that [Irving’s] been going through,” Brown said. “Being exiled from the game, of course, emotionally is a lot on our league, but it’s a lot on everyone who’s a fan of this game.
“Kyrie’s contributed in a lot of ways to the game of basketball, so for him to be able to come back and be on the floor last night, I thought was something to celebrate. I thought that was something to support. The NBA, the Brooklyn Nets decided whatever the disagreements were or the concern was, was obviously handled and we were moving on. I was supporting that decision.”