Jim Brown, legendary NFL running back, dies at 87

Jim Brown, one of the greatest running backs in the history of the American Football League (NFL), who left the sport at the height of his career to act in Hollywood films and give voice to the civil rights movement, has died at the age of 87.

Brown, who has faced allegations of violence against women over the decades although he was never convicted, died on Thursday night, his wife, Monique Brown, said on Instagram.

“To the world he was an activist, actor and football star. To our family he was a loving and wonderful husband, father and grandfather. Our hearts are broken,” he said.

Josh Peter, writing in USA Today in April 2021, said that Brown was “regarded as one of the greatest football players in history and has been lauded for his activism and leadership in the black community. But there is a more troubling side involving women and alleged violence .”

Brown said he regretted some of his past behavior. “It happened, and I regret those moments,” he said in his 1989 autobiography, referring to episodes of aggression against women.

As an explosive fullback for the Cleveland Browns, he combined power, speed, intensity and size in a way not seen in the NFL since joining the league in 1957.

He led the NFL in rushing yards eight of his nine seasons and was named the league’s Most Valuable Player four times. He held 20 league records when he retired at age 30, including most rushing yards and touchdowns. In 1999, Sporting News placed him at the top of its list of the 100 Greatest NFL Players of the 20th Century.

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