Jaylen Brown has been one of the most outspoken players in the league when it comes to the recent protests against racial injustice. Brown participated in these protests and had even driven from Boston to Atlanta just to experience a demonstration in person. Brown is also incredibly knowledgeable and nuanced when it comes to leftist ideologies, which has made him the perfect spokesperson to voice the concerns and feelings of the players.
After a big win against the Portland Trail Blazers yesterday, Brown was asked about the players kneeling for the anthem and what it all means. Brown went in-depth on the racist history of the anthem and how there is even one verse that never gets sung anymore, which is a direct reference to slavery. The line goes as follows: “No refuge could save the hireling & slave/From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave.”
“Angela Davis once said that racism is so dangerous not because of individual actors but because it’s deeply embedded in the apparatus. I think about that quote a lot when I think about the national anthem, which was written by Francis Scott Key, who was a slave owner. When we talk about the national anthem, we don’t really talk a lot about the third verse that was written, which addresses slavery and mentions there’s no hope for a hireling or slave but the gloom of the grave. So racism is so deeply embedded in our country that people don’t even flinch or even shift at the idea. It kind of is what it is.”
Brown’s research on the topic is second-to-none although there are certainly some people out there who would be quick to offer an angry reaction to his sentiments. However, you can’t deny the facts.