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Celtics' Jaylen Brown Leads Peaceful Protest in Atlanta, Says 'Our Voices Need to Be Heard'

Celtics guard Jaylen Brown led a peaceful protest march through Atlanta on Saturday, doing so after traveling by car from Boston to Georgia.

"I drove 15 hours to get to Georgia, my community," said Brown, a native of nearby Marietta. "This is a peaceful protest. Being a celebrity, being an NBA player, don't exclude me from no conversations at all. First and foremost, I'm a black man and I'm a member of this community. ... We're raising awareness for some of the injustices that we've been seeing. It's not OK.

"As a young person, you've got to listen to our perspective. Our voices need to be heard. I'm 23 years old. I don't know all of the answers. But I feel how everybody else is feeling, for sure. No question."

Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon and forward Justin Anderson, who is a member of the Nets' organization, also joined Brown.

Brown said Saturday night that three people were arrested at the peaceful protest he led and shared on social media that he was looking to gather information on those people who were arrested.

The 23-year-old Brown also took to Instagram to share an image of himself holding a poster that read, "I can't breathe," echoing the words of Eric Garner, a man who was seen in 2014 being violently apprehended by a New York Police Department officer, as well as George Floyd, who uttered the same phrase last Monday as he was violently apprehended by a Minneapolis police officer. Both altercations were recorded in what became viral videos and both men died shortly after their respective incidents.

Video of a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on Floyd's neck went viral earlier this week and sparked ongoing protests throughout the country.

On Friday, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was was seen on video kneeling on Floyd's neck, was arrested on charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter. An investigation is ongoing regarding the other officers involved in Floyd's death.

Brogdon, who is an Atlanta native, also spoke at the protest. 

"This is a moment. We have leverage right now," he said. "We have a moment in time. People are going to look back, our kids are going to look back at this and say, 'You were part of that.' I've got a grandfather that marched next to [Martin Luther King Jr.] in the '60s, and he was amazing. He would be proud to see us all here. We got to keep pushing forward."

Both Brown and Brogdon are vice presidents on the leadership council for the National Basketball Players Association. 

Floyd's death has sparked a wave of reaction from other members of the sports world. Many athletes' statements have shared an image of the Minneapolis Police Department's treatment of Floyd next to a photo of former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeling in protest during the 2016 NFL season.

Former NBA player Stephen Jackson, who called Floyd his, 'twin' also led a press conference in Minneapolis on Friday regarding the death of Floyd.

"I’m here because they’re not gonna demean the character of George Floyd, my twin," he said. "I'm hurt, I'm angry, but I ain't scared."