Celtics

Jaylen Brown sees racial disparity in pandemic response

Jaylen Brown
Jaylen Brown. Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Celtics forward Jaylen Brown on Tuesday night took part in an ”NBA Together” virtual roundtable discussion focused on the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on young people of color. The session was moderated by former NBA standout Caron Butler and also included Dallas Mavericks CEO Cynt Marshall and Dr. Kensa Gunter, a sports psychologist

“What’s going on now among people of color is I think is no different than what’s been going on the last 100 years,” Brown said. “The lack of resources, the lack or affordability, the lack of accessibility, the lack of information, I think it’s just being magnified right now during this time.

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”I think that’s a lot of the issue is kids don’t have computers, don’t have technology set up, things like that. So it’s hard for them to feel like their educational experience is at an even playing field when they don’t have some of the things that others have.”

Brown said mental health is another major concern, particularly during this time in which so many young people are dealing with extreme isolation.

“I think there’s nothing wrong with reaching out and receiving help,” Brown said. “I think there’s stereotypes around mental health. I think breaking some of those stereotypes down and having the courage to reach out and receive the help, nothing’s wrong with you. It’s nothing to be ashamed about.”

Brown said that sometimes people lean on family members to help them through emotional challenges, and that there are times when that is just fine. But he added that there are other times when a family member might not be in position to truly offer the guidance that a mental health professional could.

The half-hour discussion was streamed on the NBA’s Twitter account and it will be rebroadcast on NBA TV on Thursday at 8:30 p.m.

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