Jaylen Brown: Using his NBA Contract to Transform the Lives of Minorities in Boston

2023-07-27 16:43:00

Now the man with the lucrative contract in NBA history, Jaylen Brown has big goals. Goals far from personal, since the Celtics star intends to use the financial weight of his contract to improve the lives of minorities in Boston. A more than commendable cause, for someone who has always made equality a fight.

Earn 300 million in all, over the next five years. This is a phrase that would make many people’s heads spin. Get out of California, Malibu. Buy a villa with a bathroom as big as your old neighborhood, and toast to the occasional Hollywood star. A dream life for some people, but not for Jaylen Brown. The player certainly became the highest paid head in NBA history at the start of the week. A head that has remained particularly cold in the face of the maddening figures, and above all, a head that is always faithful to its principles.

Yes, because Jaylen Brown is a man particularly attached to the major social issues that agitate his country. A few months ago, he notably confided in the New York Times, in a wonderful interview about his extra-sports fights, about his relationship with the city of Boston, which he described then as a difficult place for minorities. It was in the heart of Beantown that he signed his new contract, surrounded by dozens of students belonging to the school program of his foundation, in partnership with MIT. An elite school, to train an elite capable of making the world a better place. That’s Brown’s goal. He was also accompanied during the signing by John Carlos, American sports icon and activist for the rights of minorities.

“I think we would have liked this contract to have been signed earlier, but today it happened. I knew I was going to be here spending most of my time. So I thought it would be nice to do that here. What better place than this, filled with young people. A place to learn how to make the world a better place. […] That’s why I thought it was the perfect time. And as we sign this, we have a tremendous amount of work to do. We are all on this adventure, to make this place, this community, something better. We have this responsibility.” – Jaylen Brown.

A mission that promises to be particularly difficult, but whose results will only be more beautiful. To achieve this, JB will not be alone. No, he can count on his franchise, which wants to invest so that everyone can have a better life in the great city of Massachusetts. The Celtics are a historic team, which can have weight when it comes to pushing this or that file with a local community. An asset which is therefore of choice for Brown. Wyc Grousbeck, the owner of the C’s, intends to get down to it.

“It’s not just about a contract, money or even basketball. The goal is to create change in people’s lives. It’s what Jaylen wears to our entire franchise. He is a real Celtic. He’s a Celtic for years to come. We live and burn to make this world a better place, not to mention the title goal.” – Wyc Grousbeck

Jaylen Brown is today one of the spearheads of the NBA on major societal issues. Playing basketball to play basketball no longer exists, because the door opened to sports activism years ago by legends like Jackie Robinson, Bill Russell and Mohammed Ali must remain so, in the heart of a country regularly shaken by violent affairs. It is to Bill Russell that JB also refers in his speech, full of ambition.

“Being able to go on the court every night and play, but also represent the causes that I defend, be a voice for the voiceless… It gives my life so much greater purpose. I’m excited to represent this city, this organization. I’m in a hurry to play. I look forward to walking in the path of John Carlos, of Bill Russell… who paved the way for athletes to express themselves. Life changes, so does the world. And I’m proud to be a part of that change.” – Jaylen Brown

Materially, how does it come about, these desires? Brown has no shortage of ideas. His first battle horse? Disparities in standard of living in the city of Boston. To reduce them, Brown wants to create economic dynamism in the heart of local African-American communities. By injecting money to support the projects.

“I want to attack the inequalities of life here. Data that indicates inequality could arguably be used to improve the economy as a whole. With the biggest contract in NBA history, it makes sense to talk about money invested in the community, but also about inequalities that no one wants to hear about. It is something that we all have to consider better to make efforts.” – Jaylen Brown

So yes, the reality is difficult. It won’t happen overnight. The Celtics and Boston can, however, be calm. They didn’t give 304 million to a basketball player. They have empowered someone who wants to change things for the better. And it’s already beautiful.

Sources : New York Times, The Athletic

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