Jaylen Brown of the Celtics opened his media availability Tuesday by addressing the shooting of Jacob Blake by a Kenosha, Wis., police officer.
“The question I would like to ask is: Does America think that Black people are uncivilized, savages, and naturally unjust? Or are we products of the environments we participate in? That’s the question I would like to ask America, and America has proven its answer over and over and over again. Are we not human beings? Is Jacob Blake not a human being?” Brown asked.
A video captured by a neighbor showed an officer shooting an unarmed Blake, 29, in the back seven times as he tried to get into a vehicle in which his three children were in the back seat. The shooting has prompted civil unrest in Kenosha.
“People post my jersey all the time, No. 7,” said Brown. “And every time I look at my jersey now, what I see is a Black man being shot seven times. All America sees is his background report. It’s easier to see that than it is to see the truth.”
Celtics coach Brad Stevens called the shooting horrifying.
Members of both the Celtics and their opponents in the Eastern Conference semifinals, the Toronto Raptors, have considered the possibility of boycotting Game 1, scheduled for Thursday night, to protest the shooting.
Raptors guard Fred VanVleet said several players met Tuesday morning to discuss their approach.
Fred VanVleet said several players met this morning to discuss their approach to playing and the bubble while incident such as the Jacob Blake shooting occurs on the outside. "I really don't care about the (#Celtics series) right now. I'm sure I'll lock in by Thursday." #Raptors— gary washburn (@GwashburnGlobe) August 25, 2020
Celtics guard Marcus Smart also acknowledged that a boycott has been considered, and that the players have to get on the same page.
Follow Andrew Mahoney on Twitter @GlobeMahoney.