Jim Brown: LeBron James a ‘great human being and great American’
Jim Brown, a longtime and tireless advocate of countless social issues including African-American causes, praised LeBron James for his eloquent and dignified response to the news that his Los Angeles home had been vandalized with racist graffiti earlier this week.
Brown, a fellow Cleveland sports icon, called the Cavaliers superstar a “great human being and great American” while highlighting James’ other admirable qualities, as a person and a basketball player.
“To watch him express himself the way he did today only reinforces that he’s a class individual, and he has my utmost respect,” Brown said, via ESPN’s Pat McManamon.
The front gate at James’ Brentwood estate was discovered vandalized Wednesday morning and the N-word was among the graffiti, reports say. LAPD detectives are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime. James nor any family members were at the residence at the time and it’s unclear exactly how much time is spent at the home.
James addressed the incident with the media Wednesday, saying in part, “it just goes to show that racism will always be a part of the world, a part of America. Hate in America, especially for African Americans, is living everyday.”
LeBron James responds to the vandalism incident at his home pic.twitter.com/goMoicIIit
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) May 31, 2017
“No matter how much money you have, how famous you are, how much people admire you, being black in America is tough,” James said.
Brown has on several occasions had kind words for James, including suggesting last year after the Cavaliers won the NBA title that James deserves a statue in Cleveland.
James has paid homage to Brown as well. Before Game 3 of the 2015 NBA Finals, James bowed in a sign of respect to the beloved Cleveland sports icon.
"I just gave him the respect and the salute that he deserves." – LeBron James on bowing to Jim Brown. https://t.co/7GF3iHz9rE
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 11, 2015
Brown has always held James in high regard. The manner in which the Cavs superstar conducted himself Wednesday only increased Brown’s level of respect.
“LeBron James is a great human being and great American,” Brown said. “What he has done for his sport and the teamwork he shows is unparalleled. His community work is tremendously effective and impactful.
“He’s a tremendous example of how a man should carry himself on and off the court.”