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Jaylen Brown Writes Coronavirus Op-Ed To Inspire Unity Amid Social Distancing

BOSTON (CBS) -- Jaylen Brown is not afraid to speak his mind, and he does so in an extremely eloquent and articulate way. Brown is not only a gifted basketball player who continues to improve his game, he's also always finding new ways to challenge himself to grow off the court as well.

In an editorial about the coronavirus pandemic for The Guardian over the weekend, the 23-year-old Celtics guard conveyed his message in hopes of inspiring people "to come together rather than drift farther and farther apart" while practicing social distancing.

While it has become difficult to take in all the information -- and even more misinformation -- regarding the pandemic, Brown is asking everyone not to make any rash decisions. That will only make an already stressful situation worse.

"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," Brown wrote. "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."

But he's also urging people not to ignore the facts and injustices during the ordeal.

"As I write this more than 30,000 people have lost their lives in the US alone. Of those heart-wrenching numbers, the percentage of African Americans and people of color is both alarming and disproportionate. Our healthcare system could be potentially highlighting injustices this beautiful nation has composed and suppressed since its establishment," he wrote.

It has been a month since the NBA put a halt to the 2020 season. Since the team was exposed to Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert a week before the shutdown, the Celtics were tested for coronavirus and put under self-quarantine for two weeks when they arrived back in Boston. Guard Marcus Smart was the only member of the team to test positive for the virus, and has since recovered.

But Brown and his teammates have been stuck at home since the season was put on pause, holding team meetings through Zoom to stay connected. While it's easy to grow apart while practicing social distancing, Brown is urging everyone to come together by doing something for the greater good.

"My intention in writing this editorial is to hopefully inspire our society to come together rather than drift farther and farther apart. In the midst of social distancing it is easy to segregate ourselves and our families from the outside world. I challenge you to do the opposite," he wrote. "Donate to your local food banks, homeless shelters and to those less fortunate in general. Allocate resources to healthcare workers, and other extraordinary workers and unsung heroes during this time. Lend a hand to the families and family members of healthcare workers and those who have lost someone, and are in need of economic support. The slightest display of compassion may save someone's life. I am looking to match these efforts and align with people who are inclined to do something."

Brown hopes that social distancing to help flatten the curve will in turn unify the country, but he also wants to make sure people come together after the pandemic to fix the problems it has exposed.

"As I stare at the walls of my confinement, due to the implementation of social distancing, I hope that our nation not only consolidates over the next few weeks but also heals. Ponder the [suffering] from other epidemics that have plagued this nation and our planet. Social inequality, gender inequality, inequality in education, poverty, lack of resources, cultural biases, and other various societal imbalances that have yet to be vaccinated. Let's use this time to look for solution-based answers and cooperative efforts for those problems," he wrote.

"It's Game 7 and how we perform down the stretch is going to determine our outcome. Let's lean in and get this done together as a team," Brown closed.


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