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Kanye West’s antisemitic remarks are a problem, but Jaylen Brown is sticking with his Donda Sports agency. Why?

It’s most definitely a complex situation, that involves more than just ‘disparaging comments,’ but the Celtics star raises an interesting point in the middle of it all.

Kanye West’s antisemitic remarks are a problem, but Jaylen Brown is sticking with his Donda Sports agency. Why?
Maddie MeyerAFP

The Celtics star cleared the air on why he’s sticking with the controversial artist’s agency, despite a growing number of companies cutting ties in the wake of his antisemitic comments. To be fair, he’s got a point.

It’s about the big picture for Jaylen Brown when it comes to Kanye West

As one of the major names attached to Kanye West’s Donda Sports agency, Boston Celtics’ Jaylen Brown came under immediate fire for continuing to associate with West, in the wake of the rapper’s recent antisemitic remarks. Brown, however, has made it clear that he has no intention of parting ways with West’s agency and furthermore went on to explain his stance in detail. Speaking in a recent interview, Brown alluded to the idea that his choice is based more on the organization and what it represents, rather than West himself.

“The reason why I signed with Donda Sports, it represented education, it represented activism, disruption,” Brown said. “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. That’s what the organization from my vantage point from Donda Sports represented.” Incidentally, Los Angeles Rams DT Aaron Donald also signed with Donda sports. While Donald has not publicly commented on his relationship with West’s company since the artist’s remarks, it’s understood that he continues to maintain ties. Both Brown and Donald, signed with Donda to have representation for their marketing and business interests outside of their respective sports.

What’s happened with Kanye West since his antisemitic comments?

If you haven’t been following, it was back on October 9th when West tweeted that he would “go death con 3 on Jewish people.” Interestingly, his Instagram account had in fact previously been blocked for separate remarks which disparaged Jewish people. To make matters worse, footage of West repeating tropes and conspiracy theories about Jewish people have since begun to circulate on various media outlets. Needless to say, a number of companies with whom West had partnerships have since begun to distance themselves from him.

Vogue announced that it has no intention of working with West again, followed by his own agency, CAA, which said ended its association with him on Monday. Then there was Balenciaga - his longest partner in the high fashion world - who disclosed that they no longer have any relationship with West. Even NBA star LeBron James got involved, with his podcast “The Shop” declining to publish an episode with West, referencing the rapper’s “hate speech.” Most recently, Adidas – the producer of his Yeezy line of sneakers - officially cut ties with West on Tuesday morning after intense pressure to do so. Sadly, West’s stance and the subsequent reports of it have seemingly emboldened antisemites across the nation. As per reports, a group in Los Angeles gave Nazi salutes behind a banner hanging over the 405 freeway that read “Kanye is right about the Jews.”

What did Jaylen Brown have to say about Kanye West?

One thing that’s important to mention here, is that Brown himself left no doubt about the idea that he doesn’t condone any form of hate speech. Indeed, the Celtics star made a clear distinction between West the person and the business that he created. “Like I said, I don’t condone any hurt, harm, or danger toward a group of people,” Brown said. “I will continue to be a member of my community, uplift my community through my work and what I’ve done throughout my career, and I’m going to continue to do that work.”

Interestingly, Brown also went on to say that he believes that West needs help and “unconditional love,” before adding, “He’s someone who’s obviously dealing with a lot of adversity that’s in front of him right now and everybody can see it and it’s public,” Brown said. “But a lot of people in the world are dealing with adversity and things that are going on that’s in front of them and they need help. It’s a lot going on right now. ...I don’t agree with everything that everybody does. Like I said, I don’t stand for any hurt, harm, or danger toward anybody, but sometimes people need unconditional love and help to get them through the situation.”


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