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How Celtics Star Jaylen Brown Is Tackling Racial Wealth Gap In Boston with Record Contract

Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown recently signed a record-breaking contract extension worth $304 million over five years. Beyond his accomplishments on the court, Brown is committed to using his platform and newfound financial security to address a critical issue in his adopted city: racial wealth disparity.

Brown
(Photo via Instagram, @fchwpo)

Community-Minded

“I want to launch a project to bring Black Wall Street here to Boston,” Brown declared in 2023, referencing the historical Greenwood District in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a once thriving Black-owned community destroyed in a race massacre in 1921. Brown aspires to recreate a similar economic hub for Boston’s Black community.

His remarks about the wealth gap recently resurfaced on social media.

He made the statement during the announcement of his contract extension. And he made it last July during a multi-day camp at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he has been working with Black and brown high school students from the Boston community. The students attended the press conference and civil rights icon John Carlos introduced Brown.

Brown says he wants to use his platform for social and financial change, and he’s starting in Boston.

“I want to attack the wealth disparity here,” he stated. “I think there’s analytics that support that stimulating the wealth gap is something that could be a betterment for the entire economy.

Boston has a discouraging wealth gap. A 2015 study revealed a median net worth of over $250,000 for white families, while Black families have a median net worth of just $8.

“Shrinking the wealth gap could actually be something that could be better for the entire economy,” Brown explained last year at a separate postgame press conference. “With the biggest financial deal in NBA history, it makes sense to talk about money, investment, and community, but also the wealth disparity here that nobody wants to talk about.”

Brown and his Financial Plan

And, he has a plan. He wants to partner with leaders, government officials, and community members to create new jobs, resources, businesses, and ideas that can uplift minority communities.

“I think through my platform,” Brown explained, “we’re going to partner with selected leaders, government officials, people in this room so that we can come together and create new jobs, new resources, new businesses, new ideas, all that could highlight minorities, and also stimulate the economy and wealth at the same time.”

He’s already started making a difference. His Bridge Program at the MIT Media Lab connects students from underserved communities with STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) learning opportunities. This summer camp initiative aligns with the mission of his 7uice Foundation, which bridges the opportunity gap for Black and Brown youth.

Brown’s five-year, $304 million contract extension inked in 2023, was reportedly the richest contract in NBA history at the time, ensuring Brown’s presence in Boston through the 2028-29 season.

His career with the Celtics began when he was drafted in 2016. He just had his best season, earning a spot on the All-NBA second team. This year saw his second NBA All-Star appearance.

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