Statements and stories about Jim Brown’s legacy have proliferated across social media since the former NFL linebacker’s death, and in one, the legendary Barry Sanders wrote that “you can’t underestimate the impact” Brown has had on the NFL.
His wife, Monique, announced in an Instagram post that Brown passed away peacefully Thursday night at his home in Los Angeles.
He was 87 years old.
Brown starred as running back for nine seasons after the franchise selected him No. 6 overall in the 1957 NFL Draft.
And in the minutes after Brown’s death was announced, Sanders, whose name might be in the same conversation as the game’s greatest running back, contributed some of his memories of Brown.
“We will miss him so much,” Sanders continued in his Twitter statement, while adding a photo. Additionally, his generosity and friendship with my family is a gift we will always cherish. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Brown family and Brown fans at this time.”
Brown, who named the league its annual rushing title after him, led the NFL in rushing yards during eight of his nine seasons, while Sanders topped the 1,000 rushing yards in each of his ten seasons and led the league in rushing four times.
Sanders has been so supportive of Brown’s accomplishments and his status as one of the best — if not the best — running backs to play the game, too, that he recalls in interviews, according to multiple outlets, that he was the father often noting how Sanders’ accomplishments couldn’t be outdone. Brown.
Brown has “dominated the game and transcended football,” Sanders said, according to a 2013 ESPN article.
And in a 2021 interview on “The Dan Patrick Show,” Sanders was asked who he would pick — in a hypothetical scenario as general manager — to start his running back, if he could pick one all-time player for the position.
Sanders’ answer: Brown.
“I think he probably controlled the game like he didn’t or didn’t when he played,” Sanders said in an interview with Patrick.