CHICAGO — Boston Celtics’ Jaylen Brown said he did not support the group of protesters who lined up outside the Barclays Center on Sunday ahead of Kyrie Irving’s return from suspension, repeating that he is glad the Brooklyn Nets guard are playing again could .
Members of the group Israel United in Christ, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled a hate group, handed out flyers reading “The Truth About Anti-Semitism” and “The Truth About Slavery” ahead of Sunday’s game.
Brown said Monday that he didn’t recognize the group’s message when he retweeted a video of the group with the caption “Energy.”
“I’ve seen a large group of our people from our community show their support [Kyrie] and his return,” Brown said Monday. “Just because I’m proud of this support and proud of our community that has done this doesn’t mean I endorse or celebrate some of the things that have been done or said.
“My instinct when I saw this was that I didn’t realize which group it was. I only noticed the support and I commented on that. I reiterate that I don’t think everything said or done or said is something I endorse or represent.”
Brown tried to clarify his initial tweet with a follow-up Sunday night that he believed it was the Omega Psi Phi Brotherhood showing support for Irving and said he wasn’t considering deleting his initial tweet because this would remove his support for Irving and his return.
Brown said he simply wanted to “encourage brown and black people to stand together on our issues, rather than seeing images of violence in our media, music and movies that we don’t fully endorse or benefit from.”
Brown, who like Irving is one of the vice presidents of the National Basketball Players Association, criticized Nets owner Joe Tsai for the way the organization handled Irving’s suspension, which lasted eight games, in what the team described as “detrimental behavior.” ‘ in reference to social media posts surrounding a book and film that contained anti-Semitic themes.
Brown has expressed his unease about the conditions the networks have set for Irving to return to court.
“I was in touch as a union member, as a former teammate, just to show support for the situation [Irving’s] went through,” Brown said. “Being banned from the game is obviously a lot emotionally for our league, but it’s a lot for anyone who’s a fan of this game.
“Kyrie contributed to the basketball game in so many ways, so I thought it would be something to celebrate that he was able to come back and be on the floor last night. I thought that was something to support. The NBA that decided Brooklyn Nets, whatever the disagreement or concern, it was obviously handled and we moved on. I supported this decision.