NFL great and actor Jim Brown dies

The death of Jim Brown, former NFL star, actor, and activist, has rocked the sports and entertainment worlds. Brown was widely-regarded as one of the greatest to ever play football, with nine seasons in the NFL under his belt. However, it’s his career off the field that may have had the most profound and lasting effects.

Monique Brown, Jim’s wife, honored her late husband saying, “To the world, he was an activist, actor, and football star. To our family, he was a loving husband, father, and grandfather. Our hearts are broken.” Both athletes and celebrities have paid their own respects to Brown, with LeBron James, who grew up near Brown’s hometown in Ohio, remembering him as “a God”. James went on to say, “When I choose to speak out, I always think about Jim Brown. I can only speak because Jim broke down those walls for me.”

The Browns owners, Dee and Jimmy Haslam, released a statement recognizing Brown’s impact on the team: “ Jim Brown is a true icon of not just the Cleveland Browns but the entire NFL. He was certainly the greatest to ever put on a Browns uniform and arguably one of the greatest players in NFL history. Jim was one of the reasons the Browns have such a tremendous fan base today.” It was echoed in a statement by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who praised Brown as “a forerunner and role model for athletes being involved in social initiatives outside their sport.”

The Pro Football Hall of Fame took to Twitter, writing, “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.” NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith and former NFL stars praised Brown on social media too.

The life of Jim Brown has created many fanatics, from young stars such as LeBron James, to NFL legends like Emmitt Smith, Tony Dorsett, Thurman Thomas, and the soon-be-inducted Joe Thomas. Brown’s legacy will live on, remembered for his immense talent in football, commitment to social justice, and generosity and friendship.