RIP Jim Brown

Marciano490

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People’s reactions to a death can be so weird. Brown was an all-time athlete across multiple sports. Brown did immense good for gang members and the incarcerated. Brown did immense bad to women. And now he’s dead.

That’s it. One doesn’t need to punctuate that with a final summation of good or bad. He just was. And now he’s gone.
Thank you. Unless St. Peter has entered the chat, there’s no real formula or need for us to contemplate the overall good/evil scoring of anyone. Jim Brown, like all of us, was good and bad and did a lot of both in extremes.
 

trekfan55

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One of the great "men amongst boys" athletes in wrestling history; you get the sense that if you put him in a time machine and he played today, he'd easily run for 1,000 yards.

Legendary lacrosse player at Syracuse. In 1955, at Syracuse he:

- Averaged 5.2 yards per carry for the football team
- Was second team All-American in lacrosse
- Averaged 11 ppg for the basketball team
- Finished fifth in the decathlon at the NCAA Championships
There is no way to get around this. The man ruled the sport, and like many others here, I am truly sorry I did not get to see him play. I know this post is not about football but the guy was just a dominant athlete.
I read a few of the canned obits that are already online. Every one described Brown as a “social activist” in the opening paragraph; his history of violence against women was mentioned briefly toward the end, or not at all.

I respect our culture’s practice of not speaking ill of the recently deceased, but if you’re not going to tell the full story, just talk about him being an all-time great football player and a groundbreaking actor. Those are the reasons Brown’s death is significant. Don’t portray the man as a saint when he wasn’t.
But we have to reconcile that with this. The guy was complicated to say the least. While his behavior toward the women in his life was atrocious and reprehensible, he did battle discrimination.
At the end of the day we can call him the greatest (or one of the greatest) athletes in NFL history, we can also point out how he helped certain causes off the field.
But yeah, let's not call him a saint.

Side note: If he played in today's NFL and news and videos come out, does he get cut? At least he gets viewed with different eyes. Deshaun Watson is still playing but few are rooting for him.
 

terrynever

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Brown once scored five goals in the North-South college lacrosse game and the story is he won the midfield face-off, ran through the South defense, and fired his shot past the goalie …. five times in a row. This story came from a Penn State coach, Dick Pencek, who was an All-American at Rutgers in the early 1960s. Not sure if the story is totally true but Brown’s lacrosse exploits are rather legendary. Five straight goals fits the myth better.
 

bakahump

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Brown is a extreme example. But "it was a different time". Not better. But different. I mean many of our Great Grand fathers possibly took a hand to Gramma or our parents that would earn prison time now. (as I say throwing someone off a balcony is an extreme example.)

Now we all know that treating another person like that is wrong. But to them it wasnt. It was "normal" and likely accepted. Even if our Grandfather was a cop who never hit a family member....did he ever show up to a scene where someone had and let it slide?

I mean in 40 years will our kids be talking about what terrible people we were because we used the "R" word (Slur for mentally challenged) to indicate our friends were dumbasses?

Not saying Brown is a saint or a sinner, like all of us he appears to be both....just on a bigger scale. What I am saying is that looking back 40-50 or even 20 years and applying the morals of today can be disingenuous. Did Lincoln use the N word? You a fan of JFKs affairs?

We are all imperfect and we should all try to learn and adapt and become better for the times we live in. Maybe Brown did that.
Its pretty unlikely we will live up to the moral code of some future time.
 

SumnerH

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What I am saying is that looking back 40-50 or even 20 years and applying the morals of today can be disingenuous.
But that's not what's happening here: the stuff he did was considered bad when he did it. He was arrested 7 times, back then. He was charged with rape, assault and battery (on multiple occasions), assault with intent to commit murder, making terroristic threats, and vandalism (several of those charges were dropped after victims refused to testify). He was convicted of battery. He was convicted of vandalism and making terroristic threats. He was twice sentenced to prison, fined at least twice, sentenced to community service and probation, and remanded to domestic violence counseling by the courts. And he engaged in cover-ups because even he knew it was wrong.

That was all at the time, it's not like some modern change of morals is suddenly reevaluating behavior that was considered normal or okay back then.
 

trekfan55

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But that's not what's happening here: the stuff he did was considered bad when he did it. He was arrested 7 times, back then. He was charged with rape, assault and battery (on multiple occasions), assault with intent to commit murder, making terroristic threats, and vandalism (several of those charges were dropped after victims refused to testify). He was convicted of battery. He was convicted of vandalism and making terroristic threats. He was twice sentenced to prison, fined at least twice, sentenced to community service and probation, and remanded to domestic violence counseling by the courts. And he engaged in cover-ups because even he knew it was wrong.

That was all at the time, it's not like some modern change of morals is suddenly reevaluating behavior that was considered normal or okay back then.
Agreed. I think the point is that when someone like that passes away, we can all appreciate how they were a great athlete, or in this case quite possibly the greatest, and not say that he was anything else.

As examples, can we say Woody Allen made great movies? Can we say OJ Simpson was a great RB? Maybe we can while at the same time saying (or accepting) that they are despicable human beings.
 

Pandemonium67

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No thread about Jim Brown is complete without this quote about BB from an interview some years ago.

"Brown: I don't compare myself with anyone. Let me tell you about
someone I do admire. Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots
has contributed more to the work I surround myself with than any
black athlete in modern times--financially, intellectually, every
way. He's been in the prisons with me. He's met gang members in
my home; he's met gang members in Cleveland [where Belichick
coached the Browns from 1991 to '95]. He's put up money. He's
opened up areas of education for us very quietly and very
strongly. Imagine what would happen if Michael Jordan did the
same thing."

Full twitter bit from Gorden Edes: link

Edit: Darn, missed it. Thanks Bergs.
 
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