Jaylen Brown has about-faced at the right time.
The Boston Celtics guard has decided to leave Kanye West’s Donda Sports as a result of the creative’s latest hate-filled comments. The decision came hours after adidas terminated its relationship with Ye, despite realizing it would result in a $250M sales loss.
“In the past 24 hours, I’ve been able to reflect and better understand how my previous statements lack clarity in expressing my stance against recent insensitive public remarks and actions. For that, I apologize. And in this, I seek to be as clear as possible. I have always, and will always, continue to stand strongly against any antisemitism, hate speech, misrepresentation, and oppressive rhetoric of any kind,” Brown said Tuesday in a statement he released via Twitter. “In light of that, after sharing in conversations, I now recognize that there are times when my voice and my position can’t coexist in spaces that don’t correspond with my stance or my values. And, for that reason, I am terminating my association with Donda Sports.
His remark came about 24 hours signals how differently he felt just a day prior when despite Ye’s antisemitic remarks, he was willing to stay signed to Donda Sports.
Earlier this week Brown wanted to make it clear that he doesn’t “agree with everything that everybody does,” but the choice to remain with Donda Sports is a professional one, not personal. “First, I don’t condone any hurt, harm, or danger toward any group of people or individuals whatsoever,” he said, according the Boston Globe. “I’ve been a member of my community, trying to uplift my community, and I’m going to continue to do that.”
“A lot of time goes into creating an entity or organization,” he continued. “The reason why I signed with Donda Sports, it represented education, it represented activism, disruption, it represented single-parent households, and a lot more people are involved in something like that. A lot of people that I work with, work with their families, build love and respect for, spending time in the summer. A lot of people involved.”
Brown was reportedly the was the first pro athlete to sign with the agency, a deal inked since March of this year. But the 26-year-old has long been one of the most outspoken athletes on matters such as social justice, police brutality, and African American representation in the NBA beyond the hardwood.
Another high-profile athlete signed to Donda was Aaron Donald, the defensive tackle for the Los Angeles Rams. Donald took to Twitter say he’s ended his relationship with the brand as well.
“As parents and members of society, we felt a responsibility to send a clear message that hateful words and actions have consequences and that we must do better as human beings,” Donald wrote in his statement via Twitter. “We do not feel our beliefs, voices and actions belong anywhere near a space that misrepresents and oppresses people of any background, ethnicity or race. We’ve had the pleasure of working with many incredible people along the way and hope to continue to use our platform to uplift and support other families, children and communities through positive outreach.”
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