The pointless controversy that reared up this week, after ex-NFL and hall of fame player Jim Brown questioned the lack of social consciousness of Michael Jordon and Eldrick “Tiger” Woods, became more so ridiculous with the slamming of Brown by people who couldn’t carry his dirty jocks in any field. The vitriol a blatant misinformation put out on Brown and Tiger Woods, reminded me how little reading, much less reading comprehension is a poorly acquired skill in this “Brave New World” we live in.
WHO IS JIM BROWN? … and most importantly What gives him the right to question these two sports Icons?
Fullback 6-2, 232
1957-1965 Cleveland Browns
James Nathaniel Brown . . .
Syracuse All-America, 1956. . .
Browns’ No. 1 draft pick, 1957. . .
Awesome runner, led NFL rushers eight years. . .All-NFL eight of nine years. . .NFL’s Most Valuable Player, 1957, 1958, 1965. . . Rookie of the Year, 1957. . . Played in nine straight Pro Bowls. . .Career marks: 12,312 yards rushing, 262 receptions, 15,459 combined net yards, 756 points scored. . .Born February 17, 1936, in St. Simons, Georgia.
Jim Brown made his initial impact as the best, most feared professional football player in the 50’s and mid 60’s. While at the heights of his hall of fame career, he walked away from the game, when the owners of the Cleveland Browns refused to pay him what he was worth and dared him to walk. The rest is our-story, as Brown made his mark as an actor and social activist. He was named by The Sporting News as the greatest professional football player ever, and when he retired at the age of 30 at the peak of his career, he left behind a record book clogged with Jim Brown notations.
Born to Theresa and Swinton Brown (a professional boxer), Jim Brown, credits his self-reliance to having grown up on St. Simons’s island, an all African community off the coast of Georgia where he was raised by his grandmother and where anti-African hatred did not affect him directly. At the age of 8 he moved to Manhasset, N.Y., where his mother worked as a domestic. It was at Manhasset High School that he became a football star and athletic legend and while at Manhasset, earned 13 letters playing football, lacrosse, baseball, basketball and running track. He averaged a then-Long Island record 38 points per game for his basketball team.
Jim Brown is a descendent of the Gullah people of Georgia; like Chubby Checker, Joe Frazier, Michelle Obama and Clarence Thomas (who no doubt was ex-communicated after being made honorary book licker for the Bush autocracy)
College career at Syracuse University:
- As a sophomore second leading rusher on the team. The second leading scorer for the basketball team (15 ppg), and earned a letter on the track team.
- As a junior he rushed for 666 yards (5.2 per carry). He averaged 11.3 points in basketball, and was named a second-team All-American in lacrosse.
- As a senior was a unanimous first-team All-American.
- He finished 5th in the Heisman Trophy voting, and set school records for highest rush average (6.2) and most rushing touchdowns (6).
- He ran for 986 yards—third most in the country despite Syracuse playing only eight games—and scored 14 touchdowns.
- In the regular-season finale, a 61–7 rout of Colgate, he rushed for 197 yards, scored six touchdowns and kicked seven extra points for 43 points (another school record).
- In the Cotton Bowl, rushed for 132 yards, scored three touchdowns and kicked three extra points.
- He was named a first-team All-American in lacrosse (43 goals in 10 games to tie for the national scoring championship).
Brown is a member of The Pigskin Club Of Washington, D.C. National Intercollegiate All-American Football Players Honor Roll. His football talents at Syracuse garnered him a berth in the College Football Hall of Fame and also earned him a spot in the Lacrosse Hall of Fame, giving him a rare triple crown of sorts as well as being one of the few athletes to be a Hall of Fame member in more than one sport.
- Taken in the first round of the 1956 draft by the Cleveland Browns.
- He departed as the NFL record holder for both single-season (1,863 in 1963) and career rushing (12,312 yards), as well as the all-time leader in rushing touchdowns (106), total touchdowns (126), and all-purpose yards (15,549).
- The first player ever to reach the 100-rushing-touchdowns milestone, and only a few others have done so since, despite the league’s expansion to a 16-game season in 1978 (Brown’s first four seasons were only 12 games, and his last five were 14 games).
- Set a record by reaching the 100-touchdown milestone in only 93 games, which stood until LaDainian Tomlinson reached it in 89 games during the 2006 season.
- Holds the record for total seasons leading the NFL in all-purpose yards (5: 1958–1961, 1964), and is the only rusher in NFL history to average over 100 yards per game for a career.
- Caught 262 passes for 2,499 yards and 20 touchdowns.
- Voted into the Pro Bowl every year for his nine year playing career.
- Brown’s 1,863 rushing yards in the 1963 season remain a Cleveland franchise record. It is currently the oldest franchise record for rushing yards out of all 32 NFL teams.
- His 5.2 yards per carry is the best career avg. to date.
- Jim Brown accomplished these records despite never playing past 29 years of age. Brown retired far ahead of the second-leading rusher and remains the league’s eighth all-time leading rusher, and is still the Cleveland Browns all-time leading rusher.
He told me, ‘Make sure when anyone tackles you he remembers how much it hurts.’ He lived by that philosophy and I always followed that advice.
—John Mackey, 1999
- A bit part in the film Rio Conchos in 1964,
- A villain in a 1967 episode of I Spy called “Cops and Robbers”.
- A star in 1967 war movie The Dirty Dozen as Robert Jefferson (during the filming of which he announced his retirement from professional football),
- The movie …tick…tick…tick…, in 1970.
- Brown starred in 100 Rifles in 1969 with Raquel Welch, feature the first interracial love scene.
- With Fred Williamson in films such as 1974’s Three the Hard Way,
- 1975’s Take a Hard Ride,
- 1982’s One Down, Two to Go,
- 1996’s Original Gangstas and
- In 1987’s The Running Man as Fireball, an adaptation of a Stephen King story.
- A coach in Any Given Sunday, in Sucker Free City and Mars Attacks! Jim appeared in some TV shows including Knight Rider in the season 3 premiere episode Knight of the Drones.
- In Keenen Ivory Wayans’ 1988 comedy I’m Gonna Git You Sucka.
- 2002’s On the Edge. He also guest-starred in a handful of television episodes of various programs with Williamson.
Jim Brown has earned the right to castigate any of today’s professional athletes for not reaching back and assisting those who are less fortunate than them. He has often been leading from the front in the battle against anti-African hatred and class hatred by the American elite and her apologists.
Perhaps the best example of Jim Brown leading by example happened on June 6, 1967, when he lead a group of African athletes to hear Muhammad Ali give his reasons for rejecting the United States military draft and refusing to fight in the Vietnam War.
This incident took place at a meeting of the Negro Industrial and Economic Union to hear Ali’s wisdom for rejecting the Vietnam War draft. These fellow men, and athletes, endorsed and supported Ali’s decision and rallied to his defense.
Front row: Bill Russell, Ali, Jim Brown, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Back row: Carl Stokes, Walter Beach, Bobby Mitchell, Sid Williams, Curtis McClinton, Willie Davis, Jim Shorter and John Wooten.
In 1988 Brown founded the Amer-i-Can Program. He currently works with youth caught up in the gang scene in Los Angeles, California and Cleveland. Amer-i-Can is a life management skills organization that operates in inner cities and prisons. To see and over stand the full impact of Jim Brown’s work with Amer-I-Can one should click on the link and read all that is been done.
A message on the website from the CEO states:
Since 1988, I have lived my life in prisons, schools, juvenile camps, and poor communities. My purpose was to learn, to teach, to build relationships, and to make an investment in those who wanted to make an investment in themselves. I knew that if given the proper opportunity, most people would like to make a positive change in their lives.
With the help of so many of you, this thought has proven itself to be true. So many lives have been saved since 1988 because gang members and ex-convicts have taken a major step and dedicated themselves to not only changing their own lives, but the lives of so many others.
The success of The Amer-I-Can Program Life-Management Skills Education is well documented both in quantitative and qualitative data, but that is not good enough.
Now, I’m reaching out to all communities and asking you to join with the Amer-I-Can Foundation for Social Change in developing a national coalition of state and local government, faith based and community organizations, and law enforcement agencies in declaring was on violence, particularly youth violence across the USA. Our weapons of choice in this war will be love and caring, education, economic consideration, family rebuilding, and consistency. I believe that these elements have been the underlying foundation of our continued success.
With your help, we will succeed.
In 2002, film director Spike Lee released the film Jim Brown: All-American; a retrospective on Brown’s professional career and personal life.