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Jim Brown throws ‘shade’ on Kobe

James W. Wade III | 12/18/2013, 1:12 p.m.
He said Bryant did not understand American culture due to him spending seven years of his youth living in Italy.
Jim Brown talks about his comments about Kobe Bryant on Friday, December 13, 2013 Photo by James W. Wade III

Seems as if Kobe Bryant’s got issues with another No. 32…

Recently football legend Jim Brown was on “The Arsenio Hall Show” and stirred up some buzz when he made remarks about LA Laker Kobe Bryant. The first thing one has to understand about Brown… He has never been at a loss for words, nor does he forgo saying what he really feels.

On the show, Brown talked about Bryant being the reason for Shaquille O’Neal leaving Los Angeles. He said Bryant did not understand American culture due to him spending seven years of his youth living in Italy. Brown went on to say that Bryant would not be someone he would invite to a summit of influential Black athletes.

“In the days when we had a summit and we called the top Black athletes together to talk to Muhammad Ali about his status with the armed forces, there were some athletes we didn’t call. So if I had to call that summit all over, there would be some athletes I wouldn’t call. And Kobe would be one of them,” Brown said on “Arsenio.”

After that show aired, Bryant took to Twitter saying “A ‘Global’ African American is an inferior shade to ‘American’ African Americans?? #hmm.. that doesn't sound very #Mandela or #Dr King sir.”

Bryant went on to comment on the situation to media following a practice last week saying, “I mean, I’ve never even met him, so it came out of left field, but I do think it’s a great opportunity to have these conversations, to have this discussion… [It’s] a good place to start to have a good conversation” about “perception of racial quality.”

Brown took time out before making an appearance at the third annual Peace Makers Alliance event held downtown near Cleveland’s Public Square at the Marriott Hotel. Then he shed some light on his comments about Bryant.

Brown talked about the idea of creating another summit similar to the Ali Summit here in Cleveland in 1967, and taking the responsibility of all Americans when it comes to participating in social activism.

“My message today is calling all individuals with consciousness to come together and show the world that there’s a difference between charity and change. People think being charitable is what is needed, but all of us have been successful because of people who have fought their butts off to create change. There’s a major difference between the two,” said Brown. This is nothing new for Brown who has always stood up for working people, youth and people who are not getting a fair opportunity to succeed. His organizations and his personal efforts have helped thousands of people, said Reggie Rucker.

While talking to Brown he never backed down about his feelings about Bryant, but also said he would be willing to talk with Bryant. But, the way Bryant sees it… “He and I, there’s no reason for us to have a conversation. We’re completely on opposite sides of the spectrum. I’m an old dog, but he’s a much older dog so he’s probably a lot more set in his ways than I am.”

Brown was taken in the first round of the 1956 draft by the Cleveland Browns. He departed as the NFL record holder for both single-season rushing yards (1,863 in 1963) and career rushing yards (12,312), as well as the all-time leader in rushing touchdowns (106), total touchdowns (126) and all-purpose yards (15,549).

Brown was the first player ever to reach the 100-rushing-touchdowns milestone. Only a few others have done so since, despite the league’s expansion to a 16-game season in 1978 (Brown’s first four seasons were only 12 games; his last five were 14 games).

Watch the video interview with Jim Brown at www.callandpost.com

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