Rapper Kanye West, who legally changed his name to Ye, has been in the spotlight again after repeatedly making antisemitic remarks, but Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown said Monday he will not part with West's marketing agency.
West formed Donda Sports, which is a marketing agency geared toward off-field endeavors that signed Brown and Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald. Donda Sports does not represent Brown as agents, as the Boston forward remains with Jason Glushon when it comes to NBA contracts.
"First, I don't condone any hurt, harm, or danger toward any group of people or individuals whatsoever," Brown said, per Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe. "I've been a member of my community, trying to uplift my community, and I'm going to continue to do that."
While he pointed out he doesn't "agree with everything that everybody does" when it comes to West, he said he is remaining with the agency the rapper created for reasons outside of any individual relationship.
"A lot of time goes into creating an entity or organization," he said. "The reason why I signed with Donda Sports, it represented education, it represented activism, disruption, it represented single-parent households, and a lot more people are involved in something like that. A lot of people that I work with, work with their families, build love and respect for, spending time in the summer. A lot of people involved."
According to CNN's Lisa Respers France, West's Twitter account was suspended after he posted a since-deleted antisemitic tweet. He was also seen wearing a shirt that said "White Lives Matter" at a fashion show, which is a phrase classified as a "hate slogan" by the Anti-Defamation League.
According to Justin Tinsley of Andscape, SpringHill Company CEO Maverick Carter said an episode of The Shop in which West made an appearance was canceled because he used the show "to reiterate more hate speech and extremely dangerous stereotypes."
Creative Artists Agency ended its relationship with the 45-year-old.
"He's someone who's obviously dealing with a lot of adversity that's in front of him right now and everybody can see it and it's public," Brown said of West. "But a lot of people in the world are dealing with adversity and things that are going on that's in front of them and they need help. It's a lot going on right now."
Brown has been a prominent voice in the NBA when it comes to fighting against prejudice and systemic racism and has rarely hesitated to call for social justice. Perhaps most notably, he drove 15 hours to protest in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd in 2020.
He signed with Donda Sports in May, and that relationship will apparently continue despite West's actions.