NBA star Jaylen Brown: Trump ‘has made it a lot more acceptable for racists to speak their minds’

Celtics player Jaylen Brown harshly criticized President TrumpDonald John TrumpNFL players stand in tunnel during anthem, extending protests 12 former top intel officials blast Trump's move to revoke Brennan's security clearance NYT: Omarosa believed to have as many as 200 tapes MORE in an interview published Tuesday, calling him “unfit to lead.”

“Racism definitely exists across America today,” the 21-year-old NBA star told The Guardian. “Some people think racism has dissipated or no longer exists. But it’s hidden in more strategic places. You have less people coming to your face and telling you certain things. But Trump has made it a lot more acceptable for racists to speak their minds.”

Brown also slammed systems of institutionalized racism in higher education, saying that attending the University of California-Berkeley opened his eyes to “a more subtle racism” in the country.

“It filters across our education system through tracking, hidden curriculums, social stratification and things I had no idea of before,” he said. “I was really emotional — because one of the most subtle but aggressive ways racism exists is through our education system.”

Brown said he thinks it’s “scary” for Trump to be commander in chief, and added that he thinks the president’s “character and some of his values makes him unfit to lead.”

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Brown is not the first NBA player to be critical of Trump. Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors prompted backlash from the right when he said he did not want his team to visit the White House after winning the NBA championship.

Cleveland star LeBron James backed Curry, tweeting that going to the White House was “a great honor” before Trump took office and calling him a “bum.”

Trump has also criticized the NFL, attacking players who kneel during the national anthem in protest of racial inequality and police brutality. Brown told The Guardian that he supported the protests, which he described as “peaceful and successful.”

Brown also ripped Trump over his feud with LaVar Ball, the father of one of the UCLA basketball player arrested in China on shoplifting charges. Trump helped to secure the release of the players but then attacked Ball for not expressing proper gratitude, which Brown said was the last straw for him regarding Trump.

“What happened to people doing things out of the generosity of their heart or because it was the right thing to do?” Brown said. “There have been multiple situations where it’s been ridiculous but that one was like: ‘OK, I’m done. I’m done listening to anything you have to say.’ A 19-year-old kid makes a mistake overseas and [Trump] demands an apology from his dad? I think Trump’s unfit to lead.”