Hall of Famer Jim Brown holds the prestigious recognition as one of the NFL’s greatest players. However, Brown’s illustrious career with the Cleveland Browns often overshadows many questionable incidents off the field over the years. Among those was beating up a pro golfer that landed him some jail time.
Jim Brown’s shady off-the-field past
Jim Brown strung together a remarkable NFL career that has etched himself as one of the greatest players of all-time.
Brown’s success on the field has mostly overshadowed many of the questionable matters he was involved with over the years. Following his NFL career, things took concerning turns off the field. Brown was charged with assault twice in different instances by then-girlfriends that saw the cases dropped.
These incidents continued to follow Brown over the next few decades but have flown mostly under the radar. The NFL Hall of Famer addressed these matters, including him admitting in his memoir, Out of Bounds, published in 1999, that he has slapped women.
Beyond his involvement in these alleged situations, Brown did receive jail time for a matter that resulted in him beating up a pro golfer.
Jim Brown beat up pro golfer Frank Snow
Over the years, Jim Brown’s temperament off the field has played a part in putting him in some questionable situations.
That was certainly the case in 1977 as he was golfing with then pro golfer Frank Snow. During a golf tournament, the two were involved in an argument over the placement of Snow’s golf ball on the course. Things led to Snow suffering injuries from the incident resulting in Brown charged with assault.
According to the testimony, Brown allegedly slapped the golfer, punched him in the ribs, and choked him. Snow reportedly suffered rib and neck injuries and a cut inside his mouth.
The judge found Brown guilty on a misdemeanor charge of battery with the punishment of being jailed for one day, fined $500, and placed on two years probation. In 1981, Brown agreed to settle a civil suit for those actions leading him to pay Snow $10,000 and mutual restraining orders.
NFL legacy largely unharmed
Despite these numerous red flags in his past off the field over the years, Jim Brown’s legacy remains firmly to his illustrious NFL career.
Brown is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in league history in spite of retiring in his prime. In many eyes, he remains the gold standard when it comes to the running back position.
He has had significant influence on several of the game’s best talents that followed him. Over the years, he has garnered a tremendous amount of respect for his athletic achievements across the entire sports world.
He played a critical role in helping the fight for civil rights in the 1960s while he helped open up avenues for players to use their elevated platforms to discuss social issues. Brown’s work as part of the 1967 Cleveland Summit resulted in the Black Economic Union further fuels that public sentiment toward him.
However, there is much more to him than his work in social justice and a tremendous NFL career. Brown also has a past that shapes his image, including multiple alleged instances of physical and verbal abuse of women.
These situations should not be ignored but instead further fill out the picture of who the Hall of Famer is on and off the field.