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Jim Brown on Barack Obama, Racism, Muhammad Ali, Hugh Hefner, Football, and Acting


The day after the presidential election, I sat down with Jim Brown for an NBC Sports television interview. Brown is not only the most accomplished football player ever to live, but he's also regarded by one biographer as the most socially significant athlete of the past century.

Upon retiring at 29-years-old, Brown already won a championship and Most Valuable Player Award in addition to holding records in every meaningful offensive category for a running back. He went to become a highly successful actor -- breaking numerous color barriers. In 1969, he filmed the first inter-racial love scene with Racquel Welch in 100 Rifles. He went on to launch the Black Economic Union which helped start over 400 black owned and operated businesses. Considered a political threat, he did all this while being spied on by the J. Edgar Hoover-run FBI. This is a man whose friends have included Muhammad Ali, Frank Sinatra, Hugh Hefner, Jack Nicholson, Richard Pryor, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr. To this day, Brown remains very active in his Amer-I-Can Foundation. At 72-years-old, Brown discussed a wide range of topics during a two-hour-and-thirty-minute interview, including what electing the first African American president means to him.

Here are highlights from the interview:

Brown on Barack Obama and the Presidential election:

Brown on racism:

Brown on Muhammad Ali:

Brown on Hugh Hefner:

Brown on his football career:

Brown on the NFL today:

Brown on his acting career:

Brown on activism and priorities:

Brown on his legacy:

Full Jim Brown interview:

Graham Bensinger is an NBC Sports Correspondent. His website is www.GrahamBensinger.com. Email Graham at: Graham@TheGBShow.com.