Posted December 12, 2013

Kobe Bryant fires back at Jim Brown over comments

NBA
Kobe Bryant doesn't think Nelson Mandela or Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would approve of Jim Brown's comments about him. (Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)

Kobe Bryant questioned Jim Brown’s comments about understanding “our culture.” (Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant fired back at Hall of Famer Jim Brown on Thursday in response to comments the former Cleveland Browns running back made this week about Bryant not understanding “our culture.”

Brown was a guest on Tuesday’s Arsenio Hall Show, and when Hall brought up the subject of Bryant returning from his Achilles injury, Brown praised the five-time NBA Champion for being an “unbelievable athlete.” But he went on to say that the fact that he was raised overseas keeps him from understanding a part of history:

“He’s somewhat confused about our culture. Because he was brought up in another country…If I had to invite people to that [black athlete] summit all over,” Brown said, referring to a summit held in the early 70s regarding Muhammed Ali’s refusal to fight in the Vietnam War, “there’d be some athletes I wouldn’t call. He’d be one of them.” [h/t/ Jake O'Donnell at Sportsgrid]

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The 35-year-old Bryant, who lived in Italy from 1984-1991, responded on Thursday, questioning Brown’s comments in a tweet:

Footage of Brown’s comments here:

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272 comments
CKDexterHaven
CKDexterHaven

Jim Brown has represented our common alma mater, Syracuse, very well — historically. But, these days, he's a relic. 

• The leading fault in his 'logic': there is no such thing as a singular "African-American Culture." There hasn't been, for a long time. Insisting that we're all the same is silly, discounts sociological evolution, and encourages stereotyping and racism. We don't all share the same upbringing, lifestyles, education, interests, or values. 

• Kobe, narcissism and morality issues aside, is not (completely) an idiot. Yet, I'm sure Brown, and people 'of his ilk' are much more easily accepting of a black man who speaks and acts with all the cliched 'urban' mannerisms. The moment someone dares to put forth a character of intellect (without radical fist waving), he's branded 'not black enough.' It's as if these people are frozen in time, still listening to rhetoric about how we're all divided into "Field" versus "House." I'm still trying to figure out why "Field" is the more desirable category.....

• Speaking about a 70s Summit? Expecting any current athlete to have experienced the same life and issues as anyone on that panel 40 years ago, and to truly understand life pre-70s, non-anectdotally, is just stupid. I'd like to see the list of current athletes that Brown WOULD include. 



stuff7321
stuff7321

Jim Brown is right.  I know this from experience.  When you live overseas, you acclimate to the culture you live in.  The only reason we kept a semblance of our culture was that my mother was insistent about it.  She wouldn't let the maid cook - yes you have "help" when you live overseas. She made sure that we ate the same things we'd eat at home.  We kept all of our southern traditions, but you still lose some because you're the only ones engaging in certain traditions. I lived in the Philippines during the Vietnam war.  I had no idea that America was burning because of racial tensions.  That sort of thing isn't reported on the American Forces Network.  I found out how much I missed by two Mexican girls whose family moved them to Tacoma, WA to get out of the madness that was happening in Compton.  They were talking to me like I was fully aware of what happened because I'm black.  I would have been if I'd lived in the States during that time.  I completely missed that America had gone up in flames.  I didn't understand the magnitude of what happened until I studied it in college!  I imagine that was the same type of circumstances that Kobe lived in.  He probably is worse.  We only lived there for 2.5 years.  Kobe was overseas for 7 years I think.  There is so much that you miss.  When you come back, it takes a few years to feel American again.  You actually feel like you don't belong, and there are things that you don't understand.  Culture isn't static. Things change quickly from year to year.  Some people never really get used to America and go back overseas.  They prefer what they knew, and how things were "over there".  Could very well be Kobe's issue which Jim Brown was alluding to.  You notice that Kobe didn't actually refute what Mr. Brown said.  It's ironic that he used Nelson Mandela and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Those two men were willing to die to fight for the rights for their people.  It seems to me that Kobe still doesn't quite understand what those two men meant.

acash626
acash626

What Jim Brown is saying is the modern day athlete does not use his celebrity status to speak out about social causes. They may do a league sanctioned  public service announcement but as individuals they are by and large silent. 

hagman3926
hagman3926

well  said jim brown  you hit nail right on the head

rootjack
rootjack

We'll said Answer Kobe to a undesreved statement. Don't judge people by their color, but by their character.

MichaelJoiner
MichaelJoiner

Watch the news and you will understand the culture...

www.whitegirlbleedalot.com

JoeyGolden
JoeyGolden

I wouldnt get to upset over a comment that Jim Brown makes, he needs to go away, his days are over and all he does now is say stupid things and do stupid things, he's jealous of all the money these guys make today, which is out of control. That comment was so out of the blue, like who would just come up with that, it has no meaning to anything, just shows how ignorant he is.

dl0007
dl0007

I grew up watching and cheering for Jim Brown! When they try to make comparisons to him as a running back, don't even try, no one comes close! However, I don't understand the relevance and/or purpose of this topic?

NatashaAlexandra
NatashaAlexandra

Race card , race card race card. This country is in the trash because of people like Jim Brown. He was a tool of the zionist subversives that have since wrecked out countries. Interested in real patriotic news? visit us on  europeanknightsproject.org  

Udaho
Udaho

Maybe he's referring to the fact that a lot of the black athletes of the past paved the way for the black athletes nowadays and that they take it for granted. Other than that I have no idea why to bring it up. I think it's more of a younger generation who don't know "where they come from", but in that case it doesn't matter if that is in Europe or North or South America. The US is not the "Blackest" country I can tell you that.

sublime5001
sublime5001

It's clear that Jim Brown didn't take his meds that morning. I guess President Obama isn't really a "black" man because he grew up in Hawaii, not the hood. 

JeffTotten
JeffTotten

As a Native Ohioan, I'm a huge Jim Brown fan. I respect his athletic accomplishments. I respect his outspokenness, I respect his courage and I respect his deep connection and appreciation of his culture.

As a white American male, I can't even begin to understand the plight of my African-American brothers and sisters, but I would like to think that I really don't need to. I would like to believe that we as a society are beyond all this racial barrier BS.

I guess my point is this:
Mr. Brown, I respect you as a man and as a fellow human being. I would feel no different of you were white, brown, red or yellow.

DavidHunter1
DavidHunter1

That is one of the most ridiculous comments ever from a man who has made a ton of them over the years. Greatest player in NFL history but  Jim's notions of purity are absurd beyond words. So you can't be "really" black if you didn't grow up in the 'hood (though Brown didn't either)? Give me a break.

Manzoa
Manzoa

Nothing funnier than GED sporting losers attacking Jim Brown relative to his athletic ability.  Most of you loons weren't even alive when this man dominated pro football.  Greatest running back EVER.  No doubt about that...forget Sanders, Emmit, and the other posers.  Brown was a two sport all American at Syracuse...having earned the honor in football and lacrosse.  You may disagree with his views, but you are a moron if you attack his prowess.  As for Bryant...well he is a wanna be Jordan and a "star" in a sport that is a cut above "pro" wrestling. And he isn't in the top 5 of all time greatest in that sport. 

Renard
Renard

In reading some of the responses from this article, SMDH. Jim is actually right. Kobe is a hell of an athlete, but he sold out ALL males when he broke the male code of ethics by ratting on Shaq because he got caught up. And yes, Kobe was raised in a different culture even as a black man. It's not Kobes fault he grew up somewhere else, but a fact is a fact. I have many friends who at 1st glance, you think are regular white folk, that are far from that! If you know Jims path, you would understand his words. Jim Brown is not a racist. Jim remains an advocate for ALL civil rights. Jim has stood on the front-line. He was never a yes man. It's a shame that the majority...85% or better think that all Jim Brown did was play football. FYI, like Barry Sanders, Jim Brown retired from football healthy and he never became a puppet, unlike many of today's athletes. Jim Brown was also one of the 1st African American men/ Pro athletes to make the Hollywood/ movie transition. Jim was 1 of the 1st black men to star in a movie opposite a white woman and perform a love scene with white women! Jim Brown actually was instrumental in paving the way for dam near all of today's actors of Ethnic backgrounds. HAHA, you thought it was John Singletary and Spike Lee making black movies!!! LOL! What society gets away with today, if Jim would have tried it back then, he would still be in jail until his death if not put too sleep. Just like the glass being half full, so are many of your brains! I pity your lack of knowledge.

Baldeagle
Baldeagle

Good comeback Kobe. Best said in  a movie, "Some people are oranges and some  people are apples, but we're all fruit".

raput76
raput76

oh please.....Brown says Bryant is European-American and not black....this is totally absurd

jooo83
jooo83

This entire thread is ridiculous. I hope we reach a time where constant and unwarranted race card use is properly labeled for what it is - racism. Many of you clearly skin colors other than you own. It is is absolutely pathetic to live your life thinking that all your problems are caused by your skin color and that every white person is participating in some type of racial conspiracy. You need help. Good luck.

jooo83
jooo83

The scary part is that there are a lot of people who actually believe this 'not black enough' nonsense from misguided people like Jim Brown.

flippy1409
flippy1409

Jim Brown has beena pathetic racist for more than 40 years. I am no Kobe fan by a long shot, but Brown is absolutely despicable and Kobe, in his Tweet response, is spot on !!

BarBecue
BarBecue

Bearsclone. What you mean is that you don't get the culture of American Blacks. You're the last son of a biscuit on the planet earth to be talking about making sense. and  a major part of American culture is that there approx. 150 million more people just as clueless as you are.

SukeMadiq
SukeMadiq

IS Kobe counting ways to make Shrimp in that picture?

SukeMadiq
SukeMadiq

You couldn't buy your way out of a rape in Jim's day.

Bearsclone
Bearsclone

I was born and raised in the US, and I have no idea who Jim Brown is referring to when he says "our" culture.


If he means American blacks specifically, no one understands that culture.  Part of the probem with black culture is that it makes even less sense than American culture in general.

JubJub
JubJub

I don't particularly like Kobe Bryant, but Jim Brown is a massive idiot.  


I'm not a black person, but I think there are few things more upsetting to black people than to have their blackness questioned, particularly when there's no basis for it.  


Jim Brown really has some nerve.  

mjt424
mjt424

Jim Brown, legendary player but his continued arrogance towards others shows he values himself highly. It's not just about his desire to help others, it's about, sadly, his ego. To tear down Kobe about perception doesn't show much class. I thought KB's response, in the form of a question, and respectfully asked, was a sound approach. I say this as someone whom is not a Lakers' fan.

PritchBomb
PritchBomb

He's just saying he doesn't like YOU, Kobe. Look on the bright side, nobody really cares what Jim Brown thinks.   

Hola
Hola

Jim Brown lived in an era in America where the color of your skin could get you killed.  He's speaking from a perspective HE HAS LIVED.  Today's athlete have it much better than Jim Brown did during his playing days.  America is not nearly as racist today as during Jim Brown time.  Jim Brown makes a valid point based on his LIFE experience.

slickwilly
slickwilly

So what's Jim Brown's point? Because Kobe was raised in Italy, he wasn't brainwashed with the same ideology that Brown has. If a foreign-raised black person can't even understand or appreciate black issues, that doesn't speak too highly about the weight or merit of those issues Mr. Brown.

CKDexterHaven
CKDexterHaven

@stuff7321 I don't wish to discount your experience, but:

• You say it takes "a few years to feel American again." How long has Kobe been 'back?' Long enough, I would assert.

• Having an alternate perspective should not necessarily be seen as a negative. While the debate over WMDs was raging here in the States, I was in Buenos Aires for a good period of time, getting entirely different news coverage from international sources, rather than from the rah-rah, american pride networks, and the associated patriotic banter inspired by W's rhetoric. While in Argentina, I truly grew to despise the French perspective, and actually fought reason and rationality simply to maintain an opposing position. Turns out the French (lawd help us) were right. Had i been here instead, I'd likely have been on the US bandwagon, advocating action. Objectivism ought to be admired and sought. We need to acknowledge that much of what we believe to be truth is really just socialization (programming). On matters such as these, there is no inherent truth. There are only Louder Voices asserting their viewpoints.

• You do say that culture isn't static. It's my position that Brown posits that it IS static, and he's been shouting from the same dusty pulpit for far too long. This isn't, for a moment, to suggest that our country's race problems have been solved. To the contrary. They're just as caustic as ever. But, the people involved in those problems aren't the same. Neither, necessarily, is the foundation of those problems. 

• I feel like a prize idiot for actually 'defending' Kobe Bryant, someone i do not 'like' or admire, but this is a discussion of the principal.... I don't find it revealing, at all, that Kobe didn't refute Brown's words directly. No sense in engaging in a twitter war, where it's rather difficult to espouse anything of worth in 140 characters. Secondly, it's a simple debate tactic to use Mandela and King, because they are unassailable and aligning himself with anything they might have said or done automatically ends the argument. Why does it matter that Mandela and King were willing to give their lives for their fight? In this context, how is that relevant? Brown is still walking around. How far did he go? But, in context, who ON HIS LIST gave their lives? Not fighting the same fight doesn't mean someone doesn't support that fight. It's a different era. And, if King or Mandela had grown up in 80s Philadelphia and now had 20 million dollar contracts, they, too, would have different priorities. People do what they do because of situation and context, not due to some inborn, pre-destined glory or greatness instinct. 

OHMALIK1
OHMALIK1

@JoeyGolden @JoeyGolden Well your wrong. First off Mr. Brown was and Is A Great man which for all his life stood . up for the development of his race. Have you forgotten recently of his involvement in stopping gang wars as well as helping ex-felons to be able to obtain work an give up a life of crime for that allown he should always be honored Do you not agree? He always preached giving back, building business in the Black community and employing and empowering Blacks. The comment about Koby wasn't just out the blue I'm sure they Arsenio and Mr. Brown discussed this before show went live. Also with all Kobe wealth there is much he could and should be doing for his people your just a kid and don't remember the stand many of the great Black entertainers and athletes took to help there people. Many lost there income because they supported people like Dr. Martin L King That statement was something for all Black entertainers and athletes and believe me it struck a nerve with in them For there is a God and He uses people to touch other people

OHMALIK1
OHMALIK1

@dl0007 Well I'm willing to bet it was talked about before the show in live. It was a statement to All Black athletes & entertainers. It started a discussion among many of hem to which I'm privilege to witness. Its timeout with all the bling bling crap. simply start doing something pleasing  to God to which many of them publicly say they are believers ell start acting like you do

james koenig
james koenig

He was big for his time, today an avg rb and he wasn't that great of a rec, lots of passing today.

reddtheLegend
reddtheLegend

@JeffTottenYou get a thumbs up for this comment sir.  If only you were not in the minority with your progressive thinking. While we as a nation have made tremendous strides toward racial equality, a lot of the bigotry has become much more subtle.  I am thankful that the days of outward racism are all but gone and thankful for those like you who are a shining example of what our country should be.

eps90ms
eps90ms

@DavidHunter1 BINGO!  I essentially said the same thing with my previous post (about Brown not saying SQUAT about Obama being "confused" about "our culture" as he spent much of his childhood in Indonesia).  I'm not even a big Kobe Bryant fan (I'm a Celtics fan), yet Kobe does work for MULTIPLE charities, including school-related, cancer-related charity work.  Jim Brown needs to get off his high horse and actually look into the MANY charitable causes that Kobe is involved with.

kreider65
kreider65

@Renard Jim Brown has little regard for over half of the human population. Women. So keep your BS about "ALL civil rights" to yourself. I pity your lack of knowledge.

DavidHunter1
DavidHunter1

@Renard What in the world does all that have to do with Brown's clearly ridiculous comment? Who by the way is a regular white folk?

Manzoa
Manzoa

@disfamYou must be either a moron or someone who knows NOTHING about sports and pro football.  Brown is THE greatest running back of all time...not to mention he was a TWO sport all American at Syracuse.  Bryant barely graduated from high school and is NOT the all time greatest anything....except maybe narcissist. 

nacnud62
nacnud62

@SukeMadiq You got your shrimp scampi, got your shrimp creole, boiled shrimp. baked shrimp, shrimp etouffe...

EasyGoer
EasyGoer

@SukeMadiq We know you hate Kobe Bryant. We got it. Give it a rest, will you?

stabmasterarson21
stabmasterarson21

@Bearsclone What culture makes sense, Einstein?  America is made up of many subcultures due to all the immigrants.  Brown is talking about the black (Af-Am) subculture of course.  In your little country of Zamunda, LOL, you have Italian immigrants, right?  That would be a subculture.  We have that too, Japanese, Chinese, Cuban, Mexican, German, etc.  Got it, Sherlock?

EasyGoer
EasyGoer

@JubJub You are right but it's questioned by people within the race on a regular basis. It IS very stupid and it's one of those things passed on from generation to generation and from peer to peer. Some, like Jim Brown, have it ingrained into their psyche.

NatashaAlexandra
NatashaAlexandra

@stabmasterarson21@BearscloneGreat comment Bearsclone. Stab master arson nice name. Its people like you that have wrecked this once great country. Go play your race card somehwere else.... This country is in the trash because of people like Jim Brown and Stabmaster. Both pathetic excuse for americans are zionist tools wrecking our country from the inside out. Interested in real patriotic news? visit us on  www.europeanknightsproject.org