They are legends in the annals of Cleveland sports and — far bigger than that — legends across the globe. The are legends not just for their exceptional level of play and how they inspired, but because of their activism and dedication and how they carried themselves.
Basketball hero LeBron James knew what to do when football hero and civil rights icon Jim Brown was in the arena, in the first row, to see James play for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals
The young superstar bowed down, namaste-style, to the elder statesman — in a show of deep, abiding respect and humility.
It was a poignant moment — Brown was clearly moved by James’s gesture– that takes on a mournful, tearful resonance today, with the announcement that Brown has died this week at the age of 87.
Never forget LeBron James bows to Jim Brown before Game 3 of the NBA Finals— DARIUS ALFORD (@IAMDARIUSALFORD) May 19, 2023
RiP Jim Brown 🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/zDr3na5HQA
If there is a more lasting image of Brown together with great athletes who have also done much to advance the cause of civil rights and usher in a better world, it can only be the iconic image of Brown with Bill Russell, Muhammad Ali, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and others shown below.
Jim Brown never lacked courage to stand up for what’s right. RIP legend 🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/9CjskuruAo— Extend (@justusmckg) May 19, 2023
It is in the footsteps of these giants that James has followed, having taken Brown as one of his most important role models precisely because, as it says above, “Jim Brown never lacked courage to stand up for what’s right.”