The sports world, and America, lost an absolute legend of a man this week.
According to Breitbart, it was announced this week that NFL legend Jim Brown, a star on the field and a prominent voice in the civil rights movement, died at the age of 87 in Los Angeles, California.
Legendary RB Jim Brown has passed away, his wife Monique Brown announced. pic.twitter.com/hOZD3W3hjW
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 19, 2023
Brown rose to recent prominence on the political scene after the 2016 election, after nearly 50 years removed from the playing field. He was one of a group of Black leaders who met with former President Donald Trump, and praised the former president in the lobby of Trump Tower at the time.
"The graciousness, the intelligence, the reception we got was fantastic. He’s amenable to listening to people who didn’t vote for him," Brown said.
By 2020, Brown drew plenty of support and criticism after endorsing Trump for his 2020 run, saying at the time, "there are certain good things that are coming out of this presidency because we’ve never seen anything like it."
Though his stance was controversial, Brown knew he had paid his dues. After retiring from the NFL’s Cleveland Browns at the age of 30, Brown founded the Negro Industrial Economic Union and hosted the 1967 Cleveland Summit, where black athletes came together to support Muhammad Ali after he objected to the Vietnam War.
As most Americans even vaguely familiar with football know, Brown made his mark in sports long before politics.
The Associated Press noted:
“One of the greatest players in football history and one of the game’s first superstars, Brown was chosen the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 1965 and shattered the league’s record books in a short career spanning 1957-65.” Brown was “[a]n unstoppable runner with power, speed and endurance.”
Fans, friends, and supporters of the former NFL star flooded social media with tributes to his legacy both on and off the football field.
"Jim Brown was in attendance at the NFL Honors in February when the league created the 'Jim Brown Award' which will be given every year to the league leader in rushing yards. His legacy will live on forever," Ari Meirov tweeted.
Jim Brown was in attendance at the NFL Honors in February when the league created the "Jim Brown Award" which will be given every year to the league leader in rushing yards.
His legacy will live on forever.pic.twitter.com/8K9S033Wwt
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) May 19, 2023
"Although it’s been 58 years since Jim Brown played his final NFL game, his reputation as one of the most dynamic players to ever step on a football field transcends generations," the Pro Football Hall of Fame tweeted.
Undoubtedly, Brown will live on as a legend for so many important reasons.