A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
No Problems With Brown
Sources have said that the Browns Hall of Famer was fired by new President Mike Holmgren in a meeting months ago and that owner Randy Lerner did not intercede. Brown’s six-figure salary has been removed from the franchise’s rolls, the sources said.
Since the parting, Brown participated in the Browns’ draft — at the league’s request — by announcing second-round selection T.J.
Ward in New York, and also accepted an invitation to speak to the team’s draft class.
The club’s position has been that nothing much has changed with Brown’s role, except he no longer holds a title. Brown would not confirm any details of what happened.
“The only quote I can give you that concerns the Browns is that Mrs.
[Norma] Lerner, she told me once the greatest compliment that I ever had concerning the Browns. She said, ‘I appreciate so much the fact that you look out for my son [Randy].’
“As things occur and politics occur, that quote demonstrates my attitude towards the Browns. I’m 74 years old and when I ride around in my car and go back to the league and I go and speak to the rookies, I think of that particular compliment from a mother.
“The one thing you learn about life is that you don’t try to hurt people, you don’t try to defend yourself, you don’t try to do anything but be helpful. So I stand by who I am, what I am and what I do.”
“I will never open up any Pandora’s box because I have too much respect for the Lerner family and the Cleveland Browns and the way I’ve been treated.
I’ve been treated like a champion.”
As executive advisor, Brown had office space in Browns headquarters, sat in on team meetings through the week and before and after games and watched games in the owner’s suite, often sitting next to Lerner.
He said he would be available to the Browns if he were called, but he has no idea what the future holds. He does not expect to attend games — home and away — as he did for the last several years.
Brown said he would continue to be involved in his Amer-I-Can Program, which mentors life management skills to youth in inner cities and prisons. Brown also said he will be taking an active role in seeking improvements in pension and health care benefits for retired NFL players.