Jaylen Brown reacts to Jacob Blake shooting: ‘Are we not human beings?’

The Boston Celtics guard spoke on Tuesday about the shooting by police of an unarmed Black man over the weekend in Kenosha, Wisconsin that has reportedly left him paralyzed below the waist.

Video Transcript

JAYLEN BROWN: Before I get started, guys, I would like to continue to demand justice for Breonna Taylor. I'd also like to encourage guys to get out and vote. And I'd also like to thank the NBA and the Celtics for allowing us to kneel and participate in that protest for the national anthem every single night.

- All right.

JAYLEN BROWN: There is an emphasis in this country on the framing of these instances, such as Jacob Blake. Well, he was a convicted felon. Well, he had a history of police brutality. Well, he possibly had a weapon. This framework is not unfamiliar to people of color and African-Americans, nor does it constitute death or being shot seven times.

The reality is a majority of African-Americans and people of color have a history with the police. You know, it comes with plagues of systemic oppression, lack of education, economic opportunity, housing, et cetera. Most people of color, you know, most minority communities have a history with the police.

The question is that I would like to ask is do you-- does America think that Black people or people of color are uncivilized savages and naturally unjust, or we product-- or are we products of the environments that we participate in? That's the question I would like to ask for-- to America. And America has proven its answer over, and over, and over again.

Are we not human beings? Is Jacob Blake not a human being? I-- I-- I don't care if you did something 10 years ago, 10 days ago, or 10 minutes ago. If he served his sentence and he was released back into society, he did not deserve to be-- you know, he still deserves to be treated like a human and not deserved to be, you know, shot in the back seven times with the intent to kill. His kids will never unsee that. His family will never unsee that. And frankly, I will never unsee it.

People post my jersey all the time, number seven. And every time I look at my jersey now, what I see is, you know, a black man being shot seven times, but all America sees is his background or his background report. It's easier to see that than it is to see the truth. Thank you.