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During an interview on The Arsenio Hall ShowNFL legend Jim Brown, in a very polite yet controversial statement, questions Kobe Bryant’s “blackness”; basically implying that Kobe Bryant grew up culturally different overseas than many of the black American athletes. Although I hate when other people challenge how one should act as a black person, as if there is only one way to be black, I kind of feel like Jim Brown may have a little point. Oh!

He’s somewhat confused about our culture. Because he was brought up in another country…If I had to invite people to that [black athlete] summit all over,” Brown said, referring to a summit held in the early 70s regarding Muhammed Ali’s refusal to fight in the Vietnam War, “there’d be some athletes I wouldn’t call. He’d be one of them {…via USA Today}

Jim Brown Arsenio Hall Talk Kobe Bryant

I think Jim Brown is certainly wrong for saying Kobe Bryant is culturally confused, however if I think about black athletes that would stand up for social injustice within the black community of professional athletes…I don’t think Kobe Bryant would make my list either, nor would Tim Duncan, and I love me some Tim Duncan.

Unlike, Jim Brown, I don’t think Kobe Bryant is confused, I just feel his plight to fame is different and has nothing to do with his blackness. Not all black athletes have a hood story that plays well like a Lifetime movie clip. Just because a black athlete doesn’t have a rags-to-riches-inner-city-narrow-escape-from-drug-dealng story, doesn’t mean that athlete is not black enough to support his fellow athletes during public struggles. Jim Brown could have made his point without calling Kobe culturally inferior, or singling him out like that!

Of course, Kobe Bryant has a response:

Kobe Bryant Jim Brown Culture Response

It surprised me in the sense that it came out of left field. I’ve never even met him. It came out of left field. But I do think it’s a great opportunity to have this conversation, to have this discussion. No matter where you come from, whether you come from Italy, whether you come from Inglewood (a Los Angeles neighborhood), whether you come from London, it doesn’t matter. Ultimately the conversation is that it doesn’t matter what color skin you are to begin with. But I think it’s a good place to start and have a good conversation.”

“There’s nothing to talk about. We have different perceptions and different views on that, clearly. The thing I’ve tried to do is I’ve tried to educate our youth going forward, no matter what color skin you are, African-American or white or whatever the case may be. Just try to talk about having a bright future going forward and how to help the kids and progress as a society as a whole. He and I, there’s no reason for us to try to have a conversation. We’re on opposite sides of the spectrum. I’m an old dog, but he’s a much older dog and a lot more set in his ways than I am.

To see how Arsenio Hall started all of this mess with one “innocent ” question, check out the video below:

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