I am so disappointed in Jim Brown. I'd like to know what Bill Russell thinks about Brown's devotion to Trump.
Here's my history with Jim Brown. I started following the NFL in 1963 when I was 11 years old, mostly because the opinion leaders on the playground were following it. I lived 10 miles west of Niagara Falls, which meant that we received all 3 of the US networks from their Buffalo affiliates. NBC had the AFL, which meant the Bills (Jack Kemp at QB, Cookie Gilchrist (a CFL superstar), Elbert Dubenion) were on every Sunday, and CBS had the NFL and the closest home city was Cleveland. Which meant that I got to watch Jim Brown (the announcers called him Jimmy Brown) every Sunday in the autumns of 1963, 1964, and 1965 And for anyone who doesn't believe that he was the greatest player in the history of the NFL, just from watching him on TV I would say that he was.
He quit at the top of his game after 1965, ostensibly to become a movie star but really I think just to stick it to Art Modell who owned the Browns but in reality didn't have enough money to own an NFL team.. But after his playing career had been over for 2 years he still had such enormous influence that he was able to organize the "Cleveland Summit" in 1967 in which opinion leaders, chiefly Brown and Russell, were going to try to understand Muhammad Ali's position about the draft and decide whether or not to support him. This was in 1967, before Dr. King was assassinated (Brown and Russell respected King but didn't agree with his methods), and before Tommie Smith and Dr. John Carlos did their thing in Mexico City in 1968. There are hundreds of articles about The Cleveland Summit but this one is short and to the point, and includes the famous photograph:
There's also a reference there about why I don't like Jim Brown much as a person, and why he would never have been invited into Michelle Obama's White House.
As an aside, the most striking thing about that photograph is that there are not any baseball players in it, at a time when certainly the National League was overwhelmingly dominated by black players. I vaguely recall a story of somebody, maybe Brown, visiting Willie Mays in San Francisco, at some point in the mid- to late-60's, but Willie didn't want to be part of it.
Anyway, now that same Jim Brown in the Cleveland Summit photo from 1967 is the same Jim Brown that is sitting in Donald Trump's office this week. It is so very disappointing. There is a mention of a panel discussion next week at San Jose State (that's where Harry Edwards, Tommie Smith, John Carlos, and Lee Evans all met in the mid-60's). Edwards and Jabbar are going to be there, along with Brown. I'd love to hear what they have to say, in front of Brown, about Trump.