Boston Celtics legend Cedric Maxwell expressed mixed feelings about Jaylen Brown leading a demonstration in his hometown of Atlanta, Georgia.
Maxwell said he is proud with the leadership Brown continues to show off the court, but he pointed out that the Celtics youngster should have worn a face mask in the backdrop of the ongoing public-health crisis of COVID-19.
“I absolutely loved it. It was fascinating to see,” the Celtics icon said on “Arbella Early Edition” on Tuesday night, per Nick Goss in NBC Sports Boston. “Jaylen Brown — I love what he did, to drive down 15 hours going to Atlanta. The only thing that disappointed me about Jaylen Brown was the fact that he did not have a mask on. If you're going to lead, you've got to lead on every aspect.
“I have just marveled at that, the fact that you have our players, like my family, my kids, are doing something that's so positive that they don't have to do. And they're showing the fact that they're connected to this community. That to me, is just — that's what it is supposed to be about. Players during my era, we weren't connected like that. Now that these guys live in a city, they live and breathe and do the same things the city does.”
Brown drove from Boston to Atlanta to organize a protest following the death of African-American man George Floyd while in Minnesota police custody. Demonstrations have broken out across the United States in all major cities supporting Black Lives Matter, the anti-racism movement calling for police accountability in deaths of people of color.
The 64-year-old Cedric Maxwell, a two-time NBA champion with the Celtics in the 1970s and '80s and the 1981 Finals MVP, certainly makes a good point since the COVID-19 crisis is far from resolved.
COVID-19 has claimed the lives of over 100,000 people in the U.S., according to publicly available data. It has infected millions more, some unknowingly, in the country's overwhelmed healthcare system.
At around 10 weeks of stay-at-home orders by many states and quarantining to prevent the spread of coronavirus — which was the reason behind suspending the NBA season among other professional and amateur leagues — protests following Floyd's death have broken out, threatening to cause another spike in coronavirus infections.
While Brown displayed an enormous amount of leadership and virtue in organizing a protest supporting the lives of people of color, COVID-19 persists as a dangerous element in many people's lives.