NFL Hall of Fame player Jim Brown, who dedicated his post-football career to social justice, answered reader questions from the Civil Rights Summit in Austin, Texas.
Brown joined NBA Hall of Famer Bill Russell to discuss race and sports at the summit Thursday.
“Freedom, equality and justice,” Brown said at the panel, NBC affiliate KXAN reported. “I pursued it at all costs because nothing else would substitute for that. No trophy, no form of popularity.”
Below are the questions that readers submitted. You can see them in their original format by clicking on the links. They have been edited for length and clarity.
AdamHoward82 via msnbc.com: The NBA’s new commissioner Adam Silver has floated the idea of the pro-league subsidizing student athletes in exchange for their staying in school longer before entering the NBA. Do you think this is a good idea and effective way to deal the issue of paying college players?
Jim Brown: It’s a start in the right direction.
Fred Moore Jr. via msnbc.com: Mr. Brown, in your opinion, why do we not see much activism from our professional athletes today?
Jim Brown: A lack of knowledge of history and an over-emphasis on money.
Caryopter via msnbc.com: If [those] young black leaders had been welcomed into the mainstream of American politics back in the 1980s, maybe we’d really be in a “post-racial” society by now. What are your thoughts?
Jim Brown: I think you’re right.
Richard Kowynia via Facebook: Where do you think civil rights movement would be without the Republican party and how do you feel the Democrats have helped?
Jim Brown: In our political structure, positive change takes cooperation from both parties.
Liz Cowan via Facebook: Now that we see the outcome of the civil rights movement, if you could go back and change anything, what would it be?
Jim Brown: A greater emphasis on education. Less emphasis on integration.
Paula Lambert Quiinn via Facebook: Why hasn’t America advanced very far from 50 years ago?
Jim Brown: Because capitalism allows a few major companies to control the majority of capital. Jobs dry up when corporations create jobs in foreign countries that should be here in America.
AJ Roth via Facebook: Why are Republicans blocking access to the voting booth?
Jim Brown: I don’t know that to be a fact.
Calvin Pipher via Facebook: The economic problems in this country are troubling to me. Your thoughts?
Jim Brown: The African-American leadership puts too much emphasis on integration rather than economic development and quality education. Quality education and economic development will bring about the quickest and most valuable change.