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Jaylen Brown: "Sport Is A Mechanism Of Control In America"


In a special peice by The Guardian, Celtics youngster Jaylen Brown provided an interesting perspective on sport, and how it influences our world in substantial ways.

After being asked about racial injustices and Colin Kaepernick, Brown got into the subject of "control," going so far as to say sports itself is a mechanism for it. Here's the quote:

“That’s the reality because sports is a mechanism of control. If people didn’t have sports they would be a lot more disappointed with their role in society. There would be a lot more anger or stress about the injustice of poverty and hunger. Sports is a way to channel our energy into something positive. Without sports who knows what half of these kids would be doing?"

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Even though it probably sounds like a "hot" take, it really isn't. The narrative of people using sports as a way to control certain stigmas isn't necessarily a bad thing if it helps unite people in a positive manner. Sports help unify people of any background, race, or color, in ways nothing else truly does. Jaylen, of course, understands this concept as much as anyone. To him, the power and underlying nature of sport should be used as a platform to promote justice, equality, and change in areas we need them.

“We’re having some of the same problems we had 50 years ago. Some things have changed a lot but other factors are deeply embedded in our society. Brown added. It takes protests like Kaepernick’s to make people uncomfortable and aware of these hidden injustices. People are now a lot more aware, engaged and united in our culture. It takes a special person like Kaepernick to force these changes – because often reporters and fans say: ‘If you’re an athlete I don’t want you to say anything. You should be happy you’re making x amount of money playing sport. You should be saluting America instead of critiquing it.’ That’s our society.”

No matter your worldview on the current state of affairs, the notion of using a sports platform to promote something bigger than yourself makes more than enough sense. True, things don't always work out according to plan, but anything is better than nothing.