Friday, February 5, 2010

Jim Brown, Lacrosse, and Black Authenticity

Jim Brown is an alum of Manhasset High School, a hot bed of lacrosse for a very long time. “I grew up in Manhasset . . . and I had the best education you could get. I lived with some of the richest people in the country, but they were good people. I took advantage of that education and I used it to make myself stronger and make me more than just a big, strong athlete,” says Brown.In recognition of his induction into Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 83 event organizers had Manhasset native, All American Athlete, State Supreme Court Judge, and Jim Brown childhood mentor and patron Kenny Molloy (1919 – 1999) present the award to Brown at halftime (more on Molloy tomorrow). Brown won 13 varsity letters at Manhasset including one in lacrosse where he earned all star honors for three years. Coach Simmons introduced me to Brown in the elevator of the team hotel before the game. At age 48, Brown had being talking about returning to pro football and he looked like he was in playing shape to me. For me Jim Brown’s induction to the lacrosse of Fame gave me street creditability in black communities. When black folks questioned my black credentials and authenticity for playing “a white boys sport,” and they often did and still do, I would answer, “Hold up, Jim Brown played and loved this game too.” Thanks Big Jim for getting me out of a lot of heated conversations about playing our game.

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