NFL great Jim Brown sought solutions in a lifetime devoted to activism

May 19, 2023  -Jim Brown’s legs, ever-churning and sturdy as tree trunks, helped propel him to fame on the football field. His voice once he left the gridiron — every bit as powerful.

In many ways, Brown, who died Thursday night at 87, used his platform as one of the greatest football players of all time to fight for people very much like him: unsatisfied with the status quo, tired of the withering degradation of racial inequality and, ultimately, never easy to shoehorn into one single, tidy category.

Brown was an activist who sat alongside Bill Russell and Muhammad Ali and was on par with Olympic fist-raisers Tommie Smith and John Carlos.

Brown was a punishing, once-in-a-lifetime running back who saw more in his journey than football and the cutthroat business it was becoming.

He was a fighter for poor minorities, abhorring the gang violence that had taken over in his adopted home of Los Angeles and working for decades to help disadvantaged inner-city kids.

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