NFL Hall of Famer Jim Brown was asked by ESPN Cleveland’s “The Really Big Show” last Friday about the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri. Though he admitted he didn’t know anything about the circumstances of the shooting, Brown said, “A young man had to die that wasn’t a weapons threat to anyone. That’s the most unfortunate thing. ” While Brown said that looting was wrong as a form of protest and “it’s an excuse to do something that’s incorrect,” he said there there was an upside to the shooting. “Now, the good thing is that it calls attention to law enforcement and it tells law enforcement you need better training so that your officers can be heroes of the community and not enemies of the community. If your pattern is always that it’s a young black male being killed, that’s not right,” Brown said.
Asked about Dr. Martin Luther King’s nonviolent protest tactics, the legendary former Cleveland Browns player said, “Dr. King was a fine man with a flawed philosophy. He said ‘nonviolence.’ What is a non? That’s inactive. So if you’re inactive, what are you going to change?” Nonviolence won’t bring about anything, Brown said. “Gandhi — it didn’t really work. It only got the good people killed.”
Brown said the solution for the problems plaguing communities like Ferguson is education, self-determination, and personal responsibility. “Understanding how to protect your community rather than being a predator in your community,” is key said Brown. But then he added, “I mean, when you say non-violence or violence, obviously you don’t want violence. But obviously I’m not emphasizing non-violence because what does that do?”
Listen to the full interview here.