MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - One of the nation's greatest athletes and civil rights activists was in town Monday. NFL great Jim Brown was honored at the Memphis Grizzlies MLK Day Celebration Game for his continued fight for equal rights for all.
Before Jim Brown accepted his National Civil Rights Museum Sports Legacy Award at the Grizzlies game, the NFL Hall of Famer reflected on the legacy of African Americans in the United States.
"We've forgotten the struggle to a great degree," he said. "We still have the fight in front of us."
As for the state of African Americans in this country, Brown says, "I don't think Dr. King would be satisfied."
"You have the great athletes making all the money and all the glory and we pretend there's equality... no, that isn't equal," he continued. "We've made great progress in a lot of areas but I think the progress has been on the level of the elite."
Brown admits he's "lived high off the hog," but he says other successful African American athletes aren't doing their part in the fight for freedom, equality and equal opportunity.
"It's about other people, not yourself… it's about the struggle, about taking the risk."
On the day Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is honored and the nation's first black president gets sworn in for a second term, brown says that's a huge step.
"Even though we have a black president, you see it doesn't reflect the changes in the black community that much. If we don't put education in the ingredients there's no way we'll help anybody."