Jim Brown is not going to attend the Cleveland Browns Ring of Fame ceremony. That’s what he keeps saying, anyway.
In a letter Brown sent to both Mike Holmgren of the Browns and the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Brown spoke of the meeting the two men had when Holmgren first took over the Browns, and how the Browns’ legend feels like the agreement he had with the team had been violated.
When you called me for a meeting in your office, there was no conversation about that agreement, no conversation about my duties, no conversation about what I felt, no conversation about my relationship with the players, no conversation about my relationship with the coaches, no conversation about my relationship with the head coach, and no conversation about my community work. Ultimately there was no conversation about anything that I felt was related to my job.
Your ultimatum to me was that you would offer me the opportunity of being that of the greeter, that of a mascot, that of a person that would represent special events by his physical presence, and for those things, I would receive a salary of $100,000. All of those things that you offered me would be controlled by you.
After that 10 minute meeting, I went to my office with a feeling that I was just fired by the Cleveland Browns, because in my mind, there would be no way on this earth that you would expect me to go against everything that I’ve ever stood for in my whole life.
Brown then re-iterated the fact that he had no intention of coming to the Ring of Honor ceremony on September 19th.
But in my conclusion, I’ve never danced in the end zone, I always gave the ball to the referee, so you should know I don’t dance. Also Mike, I don’t hang out on the Westside of town. I’m an Eastside guy. I play my golf at Highland Golf Course. I don’t go to the Hall of Fame ceremonies, except on occasions, like when Gene Hickerson was inducted, and I felt very proud to be with Bobby Mitchell and Leroy Kelly in showing our respect for his great contribution, and for helping us become great players. I don’t have any trophies in my home on display. I don’t claim to be the best at anything, and I emphatically do not need validation from any man, so I will not participate in your Ring of Honor.
It truly is sad that the Browns seemingly cannot have a relationship with one of their all-time greats, even if Jim Brown is difficult to work with.