Jim Brown, arguably the greatest football player of all time, has died at the age of 87, this publication Sports has confirmed.
“It is with profound sadness that I announce the passing of my husband, Jim Brown,” Monique Brown tells us. “He passed away peacefully last night at our L.A. home. To the world he was an activist, actor and football star.”
“To our family, he was a loving and wonderful husband, father and grandfather. Our hearts are broken.”
We’re told Jim hadn’t been doing well … and was recently visited by several of his close friends including Marshall Faulk, Eric Dickerson and Flavor Flav.
Brown, a first-round pick in 1957 (6th overall), went on to win 3 NFL MVP awards. Jim was named to 8 First Team All-Pro teams over the course of his incredible career. He led the NFL in rushing 8 times, and rushing touchdowns, 5. He won a championship in 1964.
Aside from his prowess on the football field, Brown was also a legendary lacrosse player at Syracuse, where he earned All-American honors.
After his athletic career, Jim went on to star as a Hollywood actor … in films like “The Dirty Dozen” and “Any Given Sunday.”
In addition to his incredible athleticism and talent on the big screen, Jim was also one of the most prominent voices on the civil rights scene.
Brown held the Cleveland Summit in June 1967, in support of Muhammad Ali, who refused to serve in the Vietnam War.
Brown was joined by Bill Russell and Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), and others.
The Cleveland Browns released a statement on Friday … saying, “Legend. Leader. Activist. Visionary.”
“It’s impossible to describe the profound love and gratitude we feel for having the opportunity to be a small piece of Jim’s incredible life and legacy. We mourn his passing, but celebrate the indelible light he brought to the world.”
“Our hearts are with Jim’s family, loved ones, and all those he impacted along the way.”
Brown, whose #32 was retired by the Browns, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971 … and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1995. He’s also a member of the Lacrosse HOF.
Pro Football Hall of Fame president Jim Porter also spoke on Brown’s passing … saying, “When Jim Brown’s name was announced in a room, other Hall of Famers stood and applauded him.”
“His persona has stood the test of time — a fearless and dominant football player. Jim will always be remembered as one of pro football’s greatest individuals.”
Brown was last seen out in public during Super Bowl weekend … appearing at the NFL Honors ceremony, where Emmitt Smith and Barry Sanders announced the league’s annual rushing trophy would be named in his honor.
Today, I lost my mentor and hero. RIP Jim Brown. My deepest sympathies to your wife, Monique and your entire family. pic.twitter.com/rDGLVTQh6a
— FLAVOR FLAV (@FlavorFlav) May 19, 2023
Flav shared a picture with Brown from that night in his tribute to the legend … saying, “Today, I lost my mentor and hero. RIP Jim Brown. My deepest sympathies to your wife, Monique and your entire family.”
LeBron James also shared a touching post in Brown’s honor … saying, “We lost a hero today. Rest in Paradise to the legend Jim Brown.”
“I hope every Black athlete takes the time to educate themselves about this incredible man and what he did to change all of our lives. We all stand on your shoulders Jim Brown.”
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Brown’s life off the field was not without controversy — he was arrested over numerous allegations of violence against women spanning several decades. He was charged with rape, sexual battery and assault in 1985, although the case was later dismissed.
Brown was also busted for smashing the windows of his wife’s car in 1999 … and served three months behind bars after skipping mandatory domestic violence counseling.
We discussed Jim Brown’s legacy in a recent episode of the Last Days Podcast, available on all podcast platforms.
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