Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown sat down for a new interview with The New York Times, which was released on Friday and touches on a number of interesting subjects, including his play this season and his connection to controversial musical artist Kanye West.
Perhaps the most notable comments from Brown, however, came when he was asked about the Celtics' fanbase, and whether he's experienced any negative treatment.
"I have, but I pretty much block it all out," Brown said. "It's not the whole Celtic fan base, but it is a part of the fan base that exists within the Celtic nation that is problematic. If you have a bad game, they tie it to your personal character.
"I definitely think there's a group or an amount within the Celtic nation that is extremely toxic and does not want to see athletes use their platform, or they just want you to play basketball and entertain and go home. And that's a problem to me."
The Celtics' fanbase, and the city of Boston in general, has long had a poor reputation regarding its treatment of Black athletes. One of the worst examples came back in 1963, when Bill Russell's house was broken into and vandalized while he was out of town. The perpetrators not only smashed Russell's trophies, but defecated in his bed.
In more recent years, a number of opposing players have also expressed their concerns. Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green said he was called the n-word during the Finals last season, when fans also chanted "f--- Draymond."
"You usually have situations where people talk crazy, but not the entire arena," Green said. "You'll have a situation where an entire arena will boo you, but not what the Boston fans were doing. So, it was just a different situation than I had ever seen. It took a while to adjust to it ... it was just so unexpected. It caught me off guard."
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, meanwhile, was more to the point, calling Boston fans "racist as f---."
Brown, who was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, has spent his whole career with the Celtics and is signed until the 2024 season. His next contract was always going to be fascinating due to the fact that he can make significantly more money by waiting until unrestricted free agency rather than signing an early extension. At this point there's no reason to expect that he'll leave Boston, but comments like these will add to speculation about his future.