There are very few people that, if I ran into them on the street, I’d be outright afraid of them should I say anything to them. One of these few men is NFL legend, actor, activist, and generally bad dude Jim Brown. I’m not talking about Jim Brown from his heyday (who wouldn’t be afraid of the meanest running back in NFL history, who’d rather run through a guy than run around a guy?), I’m talking about Jim Brown now, at 71 years of age.
In addition to being the best player in NFL history, and not a pussy like Franco Harris, Jim Brown also has quite a good list of acting credits to his name. From his first role in the western Rio Conchos to his breakout role in The Dirty Dozen, to his amazingly good performance in the otherwise bloated penis-fest Any Given Sunday, Jim Brown has made his mark on cinema.
I think my favorite movie of his, if only for the Black Rambo factor and some hilariously odd situations, is the 1972 blaxploitation classic, Slaughter! Read the review to see why I can’t say Slaughter! without adding an exclamation point. It’s a great movie, Jim Brown is incredibly charismatic and entertaining, and I consider it one of the better films to come out of that era, despite following the template so closely.
More importantly than that, Jim Brown gives back to his community in a way that would undoubtedly make Dr. King proud. Through his Amer-I-Can foundation, he works with troubled youths at risk for falling in with gangs in both LA and Cleveland, which you don’t see Wesley Snipes doing. He’s also been a tireless and outspoken advocate for civil rights, the rights of former NFL players, and bettering society in general.
You may not agree with Jim Brown all the time, but you can respect a man who puts his beliefs out there, doesn’t pull punches, and tells it like he sees it. He’s never shied away from controversy, despite the fact that it’s probably cost him money over the long run. You got to give credit to a guy who, literally, puts his money where his mouth is.