Jaylen Brown might be the most important person in the NBA right now. Brown, just 23, was already vice president of the NBA Players Association, but now, with America on the edge of who knows what, Brown is emerging as a civic leader. Here's what Brown wrote in The Guardian on April 19th. "Just" 30,000 people had died from COVID-19 when this was published. We crossed the 100,000 death milestone last week.
"Misinformation is at a peak, and I can feel the collective restlessness increase as the days pass. You are not alone. It seems like the people responsible for conveying information all have different messages with separate agendas. From our local media to our governing officials all the way up to the man in the suit. In this most dire of times, there have been displays of dissidence, and controversy from our political elites, causing confusion among the public. If that last sentence applies to you, our frustrations are shared. With that being said, it is paramount that everyone remains calm. An outbreak of turmoil and chaos that matches the pandemic would be further detrimental to not just the economy, but to us as a society, and community, as a whole."
Two days later, Brown asked people to stay home despite an easing of restrictions in his home state of Georgia. Over the last few weeks cases have spiked in the state.
It's uncanny how well Brown's words about coronavirus in April can be applied to the current situation that has boiled over following the killing of George Floyd. So it should be no surprise that on Saturday, Brown again stepped up, driving 15 hours from Boston to Atlanta to lead a peaceful protest.
Brown was joined by Malcolm Brogdon and Justin Anderson. Brogdon credited Brown's leadership in helping keep things civil.
"Jaylen has led this charge, man, and I'm proud of him. We need more leaders."
Brown is clearly the type of person the nation needs right now. High-profile, willing to get involved, and most importantly, well-informed. Brown's actions over the last few months have been out of concern for the well-being of society. He has no ulterior motive. He's not profiting off telling people to stay home, be safe and watch out for each other.