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'A true icon': Cleveland Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam, sports figures, politicians react to passing of Jim Brown

The legendary Browns running back died on Thursday at the age of 87. LeBron James and Barack Obama were among those commenting on his life and legacy.

CLEVELAND — The football world is mourning the passing of Cleveland Browns legend Jim Brown, who died on Thursday evening at the age of 87.

Reaction has come in from the Browns organization, the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the NFL, and many others. Here are some of the condolence messages that have been posted:

Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam

“Jim Brown is a true icon of not just the Cleveland Browns but the entire NFL. He was certainly the greatest to ever put on a Browns uniform and arguably one of the greatest players in NFL history. Jim was one of the reasons the Browns have such a tremendous fan base today. So many people grew up watching him just dominate every time he stepped onto the football field but his countless accolades on the field only tell a small part of his story.

"His commitment to making a positive impact for all of humanity off the field is what he should also be known for. In the time we’ve spent with Jim, especially when we first became a part of the Browns, we learned so much from him about the unifying force sports can be and how to use sport as a vehicle for change while making a positive impact in the community. Jim broke down barriers just as he broke tackles. He fought for civil rights, brought athletes from all different sports together to use their platform for good. Many thought Jim retired from football too soon, but he always did it his way. From the football field, to Hollywood, to his work in athlete activism, Jim always played the leading role. His devotion to fighting racial injustice, improving education for youth and positively impacting the many lives he has through his Amer-I-Can Program has left a lasting legacy well beyond all he accomplished on the field.

"Jim Brown is the Cleveland Browns and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Monique, his children and entire family as well as all those who mourn this immense loss.”

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell

"On behalf of the entire NFL family, we extend our condolences to Monique and their family. Jim Brown was a gifted athlete -- one of the most dominant players to ever step on any athletic field -- but also a cultural figure who helped promote change.

“During his nine-year NFL career, which coincided with the civil rights movement here at home, he became a forerunner and role model for athletes being involved in social initiatives outside their sport. He inspired fellow athletes to make a difference, especially in the communities in which they lived.”

Pro Football Hall of Fame President Jim Porter

"When Jim Brown’s name was announced in a room, other Hall of Famers stood and applauded him. His persona has stood the test of time – a fearless and dominant football player. Jim will always be remembered as one of pro football’s greatest individuals.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Jim’s wife, Monique, and their entire family. The Hall of Fame will honor his legacy for years to come."

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown

"Jim Brown was one of the best running backs America's ever seen, but it was his activism for civil rights & his contributions to Cleveland that will be remembered for years to come. Our thoughts go out to Monique & his children."

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine

"Fran and I are saddened to learn of the death of legendary NFL running back Jim Brown. As a young boy, I would watch Jim play for the Cleveland Browns on TV every Sunday, and few could keep him out of the end zone. Adding to his reputation as one of the greatest players in NFL history was his notable humanitarian efforts, including advocating for civil rights, working with disadvantaged urban youth, and helping those in prison to reform and rehabilitate. Fran and I extend our sincerest condolences to Jim Brown’s family at this time."

Former President Barack Obama

"I was too young to remember Jim Brown's playing days, but I knew his legacy. One of the greatest football players ever, he was also an actor and activist — speaking out on civil rights, and pushing other Black athletes to do the same. Our thoughts are with Jim's wife Monique, his children, and everyone who knew and admired him."

Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb

"Jim Brown not only changed the game of football, but he changed the moral consciousness of the nation. Rest in power to the great Cleveland Browns legend and civil rights activist."  

Bibb spoke to 3News about Brown's passing on Friday afternoon.

U.S. Rep. Shontel Brown

"Jim Brown was a record setter, a history maker, and a Cleveland icon. He was unstoppable on the field and as a civil rights leader and advocate, unforgettable off of it. 

"As we remember his legacy, my prayers go out to his family."

Legendary Browns QB Bernie Kosar

"Rest In Peace To My Great Friend @JimBrownNFL32 Words Cannot Describe The Amount Of Respect I Have For You. The Whole @Browns Community And I Love You So Much  #UMatter kosar19.com"

Kosar further reflected on the life of Jim Brown in an interview with 3News. Watch below:

Kosar also remembered Brown in an interview with 3News' Kierra Cotton on Saturday at the Cleveland Marathon: 

Cleveland Browns legend and member of Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2023 Joe Thomas

NBA superstar and Akron native LeBron James

"We lost a hero today.  Rest in Paradise to the legend Jim Brown.  I hope every Black athlete takes the time to educate themselves about this incredible man and what he did to change all of our lives.  We all stand on your shoulders Jim Brown.

"If you grew up in Northeast Ohio and were Black, Jim Brown was a God. As a kid who loved football, I really just thought of him as the greatest Cleveland Brown to ever play. Then I started my own journey as a professional athlete and realized what he did socially was his true greatness. When I choose to speak out, I always think about Jim Brown. I can only speak because Jim broke down those walls for me.

"I am so grateful that I was able to call you my friend. I hope I can continue to honor your legacy with my words and actions. My prayers to your family. I know they are all incredibly proud of everything you did for our community! #LegendsNeverDie🙏🏾"

Former Browns DB Walter Beach

Beach, who helped Brown organized the famous "Cleveland Summit" of 1967, remembered his longtime teammate in a conversation with 3News' Russ Mitchell.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Cleveland Guardians

Legendary NFL RB Barry Sanders

Legendary NFL RB Emmitt Smith

Former Browns QB Tim Couch

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