CANTON, Ohio — Hours before the Cleveland Browns kicked off the NFL preseason Thursday, they honored their greatest all-time player, Jim Brown.
The Browns and Pro Football Hall of Fame commemorated the legendary running back with a “Celebration of Life.” Brown, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1971, died in May at the age of 87.
“I never met a greater person,” former Baltimore Ravens linebacker and fellow Hall of Famer Ray Lewis told the audience.
Several current Browns players and team officials attended the ceremony, held inside the Canton McKinley High School auditorium next to Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. That included All-Pro running back Nick Chubb. Over the summer, Chubb said he would be “playing for” Brown this season. Former Cleveland offensive tackle Joe Thomas, set to be enshrined into the Hall of Fame himself this weekend, also attended.
Brown played nine seasons for the Browns (1957-65) and led the league in rushing in eight of those years. He was also named a Pro Bowler every year he played. Brown led Cleveland to league championship games three times, winning the title in 1964, and was named MVP three times.
The Browns and New York Jets will meet in the Hall of Fame game at 8 p.m. ET.