Third-year Milwaukee Bucks wing Sterling Brown has been increasingly using his voice to inspire change when it comes to social and racial injustice.
While the Milwaukee Bucks are ramping up to revive their pursuit of a championship in Orlando, Sterling Brown is aware bigger things are at hand at this time in the country and around the world.
Over the last few months, the third-year wing has been increasingly on the front lines of speaking out against police brutality, and social and racial injustices around the country, whether it’s been through the Bucks’ very own protest last month or other various events and instances.
Of course, Brown’s first-hand experience on the night of January 22, 2018 remains the life-changing event that has forced the Illinois native to speak out against the injustices and racism that he and millions have unfortunately suffered for centuries.
While the Bucks have now gotten back to work and regular practice settings since arriving in Orlando late last week, Brown is looking forward to further educating himself on civil rights issues while getting back on the court according to Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
“I just take it as an opportunity to grow and get better, personally. I’ve got a lot of free time on my hands, so I’m going to use it to my advantage,” Brown said. “Educating myself, like I said, just getting better, studying basketball, studying real-life Black issues, civil rights, history, world history – just educating myself and taking this time to grow. That’s all I can do.
“I’m not going to sit here and think everything negative about the situation because that wouldn’t benefit myself and that wouldn’t benefit me when I step on the floor. I’m definitely going to use this time to get better and grow.”
Brown is approaching a critical point in his young basketball career as he’s set to enter restricted free agency in the fall with the delayed offseason. And no Bucks player might welcome all of the time off to recalibrate ahead of the 2019-20 season restart more than Brown, considering the struggles that Brown has had on the court throughout his third NBA season to this point.
Even as Brown deals with the questions over his playing future and as his civil suit against the city of Milwaukee and the police department has been long-gestating, the 25-year-old has given a voice to his and the wrongdoings that many people of color have historically suffered at the hands of authority figures.
On the topic of his legal matters that all stem from his wrongful arrest two-and-a-half years ago, Brown touched on how tiring and slow-moving the case has been in a Q&A with Sports Illustrated’s Greg Bishop last month:
“It’s taken three years, and it’s going to take a little bit more time, because they changed legal counsel. The fight is going to go on. The system, they have the power to extend things, put more into play, reword arguments. We have to continue to unify and organize and strategize. That doesn’t happen in white America. It’s been happening for a long time [for us]. And people are tired of it.”
It certainly isn’t for a player of Brown’s caliber, who’s still searching for his breakthrough in the league, to speak on such issues as well as endure the incident that will likely overshadow his playing career to begin with. Yet Brown’s strides as an activist and a leader off the court has been an incredibly welcome sight to see, especially as the Bucks continue to be a leading example in this regard with the city’s long history of racism and incidents of police brutality.
It’s through that lens where Brown’s impact during his time with the Bucks has extended beyond the court and has helped inspire a connection between himself, the Bucks and the city of Milwaukee. In the end, it’s so much bigger than basketball and Brown is proving that his voice is being heard loud and clear.