Cleveland Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam remembered Pro Football Hall of Famer and civil rights activist Jim Brown after Brown died Thursday night at the age of 87.

«Jim Brown is a true icon not only of the cleveland browns but the entire NFL,» the Haslams said in a statement Friday. “He was certainly the best player to ever put on a Browns uniform and arguably one of the greatest players in NFL history.

Jim Brown poses for photos

Jim Brown poses for photos on the red carpet at the NFL Honors on February 2, 2019 at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. (Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

«Jim was one of the reasons the Browns have such a huge fan base today. A lot of people grew up watching him dominate every time he stepped on the court.» football field, but his countless accolades on the field only tell a small part of his story.»

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Brown died peacefully at his Los Angeles home, according to Brown’s wife, Monique.

Brown was selected as the NFL Most Valuable Player in 1965 and led Cleveland to the organization’s last championship in 1964.

He was considered the greatest running backwards of all time at the time of his retirement in 1965.

Brown retired after the 1965 season to focus on his acting career and civil rights activism.

Brown participated in the Cleveland Summit on June 4, 1967 to show his support and listen Muhammad Ali boxer Reasons for refusing conscription during the Vietnam War.

A picture of the Cleveland Summit

A group of top African-American athletes from different sports disciplines come together to support and listen to boxer Muhammad Ali give his reasons for rejecting conscription during the Vietnam War at a meeting of the Black Economic and Industrial Union, held in Cleveland , June 4, 1967. Seated in the front row, from left to right: Bill Russell, Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Behind them are Carl Stokes, Walter Beach, Bobby Mitchell, Sid Williams, Curtis McClinton, Willie Davis, Jim Shorter and John Wooten. (Robert Abbott Sengstacke/Getty Images)

He also founded Amer-I-Can in 1988, a group formed to serve «at-risk and high-risk youth in neglected schools and juvenile detention centers.»

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«His commitment to making a positive impact for all of humanity off the field is what he should be known for as well,» the Haslams said. «During our time with Jim, especially when we first became part of the Browns, we learned a lot from him about the unifying force that sports can be and how to use sports as a vehicle for change and impact. positive in the community

«Jim broke barriers just like he broke tackles. He fought for civil rights, brought together athletes from different sports to use his platform for good.

Jim Brown in the 2018 NFL Draft

NFL Hall of Famer Jim Brown during the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft on April 27, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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«Many thought Jim retired from soccer too soon, but he always did it his way. From the soccer field, to Hollywood, to his work in athlete activism, Jim has always played the leading role. His devotion By fighting racial injustice, improving education for youth, and positively impacting the many lives he leads through his program, Amer-I-Can has left a lasting legacy far beyond anything he accomplished on the field.

Brown was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971.