Legendary Hall of Fame running back ’s excellence extends far beyond the football field. The great Cleveland Browns
running back, who was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971, will receive the prestigious Lifetime Humanitarian Achievement Award from the Muhammad Ali Center
in Louisville, Ky. on Saturday, Sept. 27.
Following an illustrious nine-year career that ended with his abrupt retirement in 1965 as the NFL’s all-time leading rusher with 12,312 yards, Brown embarked on an acting career. The three-time NFL Most Valuable Player later dedicated himself to social change and established the Amer-I-Can
, a program that teaches life management and self-improvement skills to help uplift neighborhoods and communities.
“The Muhammad Ali Center is incredibly honored to have as this year’s Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Lifetime Achievement Award Winner,” said Donald Lassere
, President and CEO of the Muhammad Ali Center. “Throughout his life, Mr. Brown has been dedicated to social justice and has been a force for social change. His courage and social consciousness are but two of the many qualities that make the great man he is.”
“ epitomizes the six values that the Pro Football Hall of Fame represents: commitment, courage, discipline, perseverance, integrity, and respect,” stated David Baker
, President & Executive Director of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. “Jim has fought for social change in our country in the same way he played the game for his teammates, with an uncompromising commitment to carry us all on his back to a better place.”
Brown used his platform as arguably the finest NFL player of the 1960s to serve as an outspoken civil rights advocate during a turbulent time in the United States. He also voiced his support of Ali’s conscientious objector stance during the Vietnam War. Ali was convicted on draft evasion and stripped of his heavyweight boxing crown. After years of litigation, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Ali’s favor thereby ending the legal fight in 1971.
“I live a life as a humanitarian,” Brown shared last week. “So my real joy in life is to deal with people, to help people, to share what I have with people.”
“My life is based on the truth of trying to be a better person as long as I’m on this earth,” he continued.
Former President Jimmy Carter
was the inaugural winner of the Ali Lifetime Humanitarian Achievement Award last year.
Brown reflected on a number of items during an interview with ProFootballHOF.com last week.
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