fb-pixel Skip to main content

Celtics’ Jaylen Brown petitioning to remove Confederate general’s name from his Ga. high school

Jaylen Brown got wind of a group of young women who were pushing the change, and started an online campaign.Kevin C. Cox/Getty

Jaylen Brown is working on an effort to change the name of Wheeler High School, his alma mater, in Marietta, Ga.

Joseph Wheeler was a Confederate general in the Civil War, and also served in the Spanish-American War and in Congress as a representative of Alabama. The school was named after Wheeler in 1965. Brown, a 2015 graduate, has begun an online campaign to remove the Wheeler name from the school.

“I’ve been introduced to a bunch of young ladies who have been pushing to get that changed,” the fifth-year Celtics star said. “Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere. I think it’s time to move to the future.”


Brown said he wants to continue his social justice crusade, and that he wasn’t moved by the recent election results. Brown, one of the more poignant voices in the bubble, is far from satisfied.

“In my opinion, I don’t think anything has changed,” he said. “I know [Joe] Biden was just probably elected into office, but I don’t think anything has changed in terms of some of the systematic oppression that still goes on. We’ve still got to keep pushing for change, for reform, or in other words push to abolish some of these laws that people get to hide behind to kill and assassinate people of color. So, in my opinion, nothing has changed, but we still have to continue to push for the change we’ve been looking for.”

Brown also said he has partnered with NASA Goddard just outside Washington, D.C., to reintroduce STEM education to underrepresented communities.

As a member of the National Basketball Players Association executive committee, Brown had a say in when the season was going to begin. While the union pushed back on the Dec. 22 start, it finally relented.

“It made the most sense in terms of business-wise and financially starting on Christmas Day, around that time,” he said. “I was for that in terms of what I saw on paper. Obviously, COVID is still around and still lurking in certain areas. That’s something to be aware of. I’m not sure how that’s going to necessarily work as we start to travel in certain places. Will the season be stopped? Will it continue to go on? Will there be a stay-at-home order during the season? I’m not sure.


“I didn’t have a problem with [the date]. I’m young, I really didn’t need too much time off.”

Gary Washburn is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at gary.washburn@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GwashburnGlobe.