Our own Bernie Dawkins already has a great post regarding Jim Brown’s letter to the Cleveland Browns organization, including the full letter itself, but I wanted to chime in with a few brief thoughts of my own:
The Ring of Honor ceremony that the Browns are putting together is meant to pay tribute to some of the best players in team history. While just about anyone in that Ring of Honor would be honored to just be considered for such a thing, Browns legend Jim Brown saw the nomination another way. Though some of his anger stems from the fact that he was fired from his position as an executive advisor, and was instead offered $100,000 to simply be a team ambassador, Brown’s letter declining the invitation to the ceremony is just plain odd.
There’s no question that Jim Brown is one of the greatest – if not simply the greatest – players in NFL history, but it is unfortunate that in recent years, he has taken to using his influence in such a way that he comes off as an instigator and a man seemingly out of touch with the way things work. Brown has always moved to the beat of his own drum, but from everything we know about the situation, it is mightily unfair to hint at racism on the part of the Cleveland Browns. He can be upset about his firing, but a letter like this gives a younger generation a much different impression of one of the NFL’s biggest legends.