NFL Legend Jim Brown criticizes Kobe Bryant on the Arsenio Hall show
NFL legend (the greatest running back in history not named Barry Sanders, IMO), underrated actor and civil rights activist Jim Brown has always been known to speak his mind and on the return of the Arsenio Hall show, Brown was asked about the return of Kobe Bryant. While the crowd was expecting a kiss-ass compliment with enthusiasm in Brown’s voice, Brown shocked the LA audience by saying “he threw Shaq under the bus.” If you don’t remember what he’s referring to, when Kobe was being questioned by detectives in Eagle, Colorado after the rape accusation, Kobe told the investigators that “he should have done what Shaq does … that Shaq would pay his women not to say anything” and already had paid up to $1 million “for situations like this.”
He then went on to say Kobe is “somewhat confused about culture because he was brought up in another country so it doesn’t quite fit with what’s happening in America.”
A silent crowd eased up a little when Brown, arguably one of the greatest athletes ever, said he thought Kobe was a great athlete, but then delivered the biggest shot of criticism when he talked about athletes of the past (like a Bill Russell) that he could call on for an important cause, in this example it was a summit to talk to Ali about dodging the draft, and said Kobe would not be one of those guys he would call.
Some people will take this statement further then they should because the truth is most athletes, past and present or bad to great, would not be on that list. Most of them don’t know (want to know) or care enough to get involved in political issues and considering the economics involved in today’s endorsement deals, most athletes wouldn’t risk that money just to “speak their mind.” Kobe has no issue speaking his mind about basketball and teammates but he wouldn’t touch a controversial subject with a ten foot pole but neither did Michael Jordan and that’s why Brown has been critical of MJ in the past too.
If you haven’t seen Spike Lee’s documentary “Jim Brown – All American” I highly recommend it even if you don’t know much about him other than he’s not that fond of Kobe.