NFL great Jim Brown spoke of his admiration for Donald Trump after a meeting with the president-elect in New York on Tuesday, and said the pair talked about “how to work together … to make America a better country”.
Brown, a Hall of Famer who won the NFL MVP award four times, went to Trump Tower to discuss race, poverty, education and the economy with the president-elect. Kanye West, former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, and Darrell Scott, a Christian pastor from Cleveland, were also there.
Brown, who played nine seasons with Cleveland between 1957 and 1965 and retired as the NFL’s all-time leading rusher, revealed he hadn’t voted for Trump, but said: ‘We couldn’t have had a better meeting.” He continued: “The graciousness, the intelligence, the reception we got was fantastic. He’s amenable to listening to people who didn’t vote for him.”
Brown, 80, has been heavily involved in civil rights since finishing his playing career with the Browns. Trump’s presidential campaign was marked by numerous offensive comments about race.
“When he goes through what he went through to become the president, he got my admiration,” Brown told CNN. “No one gave him a chance.”
Lewis said “black or white is irrelevant” when trying to help people out of poverty and improve people’s lot.
“Urban development and job creation are everything,” Lewis said. “What we believe with the Trump administration is if we can combine these two powers of coming together – forget black or white. Black or white is irrelevant. The bottom line is job creation and economic development in these urban areas to change the whole scheme of what our kids see.”
Brown, who starred in more than two dozen films after his playing career ended, said: “I can’t speak for the pastor [Scott], but I fell in love with him, because he really talks about helping African-American, black people and, uh, that’s why I’m here.”
“You fell in love with Donald Trump?” asked CNN’s Brooke Baldwin.
“It isn’t really about Donald Trump,” Brown replied. “It’s about him and the position he occupies. When he goes through what he went through to become the president, he got my admiration. They called him names … he reached back and brought them along with him. He held no grudges.”
It appeared as though Brown suggested he fell in love with Trump, but he later clarified that his comments were about Scott, the pastor, and not Trump.
“I was talking about my partner sitting right here,” Brown said. “I was talking to the man who got us together. The man who’s been the catalyst. The man who has represented. And he’s comical and he’s very vivacious. You know, he’s a character.”
This article was written by Guardian sport, for theguardian.com on Wednesday 14th December 2016 17.19 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010
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