Over the last few days, we’ve seen several notable athletes take to the streets to protest George Floyd’s murder and the racial injustices that continue to plague the country.
Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown led the charge on Saturday, driving 15 hours from Boston to Atlanta to organize a peaceful protest with fellow NBAer Malcolm Brogdon.
Brown’s Celtics teammates Marcus Smart, Enes Kanter, and Vincent Poirier followed suit on Sunday with a peaceful protest in Boston, showing the tremendous impact athletes can have on their communities when they let their voices be heard.
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Monday on Early Edition, former Celtics big man Kendrick Perkins discussed how Brown and other athletes affect social change when they decide to speak up.
“We just gotta continue to use our voices. We can’t change racism overnight, but we can change the system, and our voices need to be heard. It don’t matter what race you come from. It’s just speak what’s right, and stand on what you believe in. It’s leading by example.
“When you look at even a guy like Stephen Jackson who I think set the bar, and then all of a sudden Jaylen Brown who’s a younger guy in this league say, ‘Oh, if Stephen Jackson is out here, a retired player, and he’s standing on the frontline, then let me do it. And then all of a sudden, guess what, Jaylen Brown, he influenced Enes Kanter. It’s a chain reaction, so whether you’re a veteran or a young guy, that don’t matter. It’s just about taking a stand and taking a trend.”
As Perkins notes, when one player finds the courage to speak up, it starts a chain reaction. Some may hesitate to use their voice in fear of the backlash they may receive, but now more than ever it’s important to put that fear aside and stand up for what’s right.
There’s no doubt Brown’s admirable actions influenced other athletes and public figures to take a stand, and that’s something we should start to see more of in our society.
You can watch the full interview with Perkins below:
Kendrick Perkins: We just have to continue to use our voices originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston