Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown was one the few active players to speak out in defense of Kyrie Irving during the Nets guard’s suspension, and on Sunday as Irving was about to return to the floor, Brown shared a video of a group of demonstrators outside Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
According to Brown, he believed the group belonged to a fraternity that had shown up in support of Irving. The group in the video, however, was a contingent of Black Hebrew Israelites that has gathered outside Barclays Center on multiple occasions. Reporters on the scene shared the demonstrators were handing out propaganda that mirrored the rhetoric found in the antisemitic film Irving promoted on Twitter, an action that led to his suspension.
Brown later tweeted that he was “celebrating the unification of our people welcoming the return of Kyrie.”
I was not aware of what specific group that was outside of Barclay’s Center tonight. I was celebrating the unification of our people welcoming the return of Kyrie to the court, first glance I thought it was a known fraternity the (C/Que’s) Omega psi phi (step’n) showing support
— Jaylen Brown (@FCHWPO) November 21, 2022
At shootaround on Monday before facing the Bulls, Brown explained he didn’t have his “reading glasses” on and was unaware of what he was sharing, but went on to explain why he was proud to see members of the Black community supporting Irving.
“I don’t think that everything that was said or being done is something that I endorse or represent, but in the future when I’m a father – I’m not yet – I would like my son and daughter to see more representations of people of color, brown people and Black people, standing together on issues. Rather than seeing images of violence in our media, in our music, in our movies, that we don’t entirely promote or profit from.
Those are my thoughts and I think that any media group or person, an attempt to discontort my words or discontort my attempt to support someone clearly has an agenda.”
Celtics Jaylen Brown on his tweets from last night.
“I saw a large group of people from our community showing support for (Kyrie) and his return. Me being proud of that support does not mean I endorse or celebrate some of the things that were being done or being said” pic.twitter.com/xGYb2L6bay
— Jamal Collier (@JamalCollier) November 21, 2022