Boston Celtics swingman Jaylen Brown believes the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted rampant inequality in the United States but feels it offers an opportunity for society to come together.
The NBA has been placed on an indefinite hiatus since March 14 due to the proliferation of COVID-19, with 259 regular-season games still outstanding as the scheduled start date for the playoffs passed on Saturday.
According to the John Hopkins University, the USA has seen over 735,000 cases of coronavirus – almost four times as many as Spain, the second-most affected country – and more than 39,000 deaths.
Brown was critical of a lack of clarity in guidance from local media all the way to the top of government, stating "misinformation is at a peak".
And with unemployment in the USA at an all-time high, he called on those with the financial means to offer a helping hand to others in need.
Despite the implementation of social distancing policies, Brown believes the pandemic has highlighted significant flaws in the USA's society and hopes it can spark change for the future.
"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 colour is both alarming and disproportionate," Brown wrote in The Guardian.
"Our healthcare system could be potentially highlighting injustices this beautiful nation has composed and suppressed since its establishment.
"After being personally affected by this outbreak and its impact on the NBA, there is no way that I can look away after seeing how friends, family and team-mates have been affected by this virus.
"I am proud to be a member of the Boston Celtics and of the NBA for ceasing to continue the season at this time. Sports have an influential position in our society, and I'm grateful the NBA uses its platform considerately.
"My deepest condolences go out to Karl-Anthony Towns, and his family, for the recent loss of his beautiful mother Jackie from COVID-19; the entire NBA mourns with you. I also extend my condolences to anyone with a similar experience or shared communal pain.
"As we all suffer from being torn apart, from news of heartbreak and anguish, my greatest hope is that during this isolation we become more unified than ever.
"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 suffrage 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 co-operative efforts for those problems.
"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."
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