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Prisoner of Conscience
Don Yaeger
April 15, 2002
In a jailhouse interview Jim Brown sounds off about his life behind bars, the NFL and do-nothing sports stars
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April 15, 2002

Prisoner Of Conscience

In a jailhouse interview Jim Brown sounds off about his life behind bars, the NFL and do-nothing sports stars

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Brown: Sure it does, but it doesn't surprise me. Money has changed today's black athletes. Those who have the ability as African men to bring a change in a community that so desperately needs it are concentrating only on their own careers, some charities and how much money they can make.

SI: Which athletes disappoint you the most?

Brown: The ones that are most popular and most powerful. Michael Jordan would be one. Charles [Barkley] is talking about issues, but I don't think Charles is in touch with the community. They're all nice guys, now—don't misunderstand me. But they have the ears of the general public, they have the money, and they could call together 100 black athletes and solve so many problems in these inner cities, it would be unbelievable.

SI: What's different about today's black athlete from those you gathered in support of AH in '67?

Brown: They are the beneficiaries of our struggle. But they don't recognize that because they're inundated with agents, managers, lawyers and owners who don't want them to do anything but play ball and hopefully keep themselves out of trouble and just be physical freaks of nature with no [awareness] of decision-making power.

SI: What current athlete do you admire?

Brown: Compared with a Bill Russell?

SI: Sure.

Brown: Nobody.

SI: Compared with a Jim Brown.

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