SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Jim Brown, still angry over what he perceives as a slight from Cleveland Browns president Mike Holmgren, plans to skip this weekend's ring of honor ceremony.
Brown was a guest speaker at Thursday's Santa Clara Sports Law Symposium and said he will join NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell this weekend at a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus in Washington rather that fly to Ohio to take part in the ceremony honoring the Browns' 16 Hall of Fame members.
"No, I won't be going," Brown said. "My legacy won't be defined by Holmgren."
Brown is upset with Holmgren for reducing his responsibilities as an adviser to owner Randy Lerner. He sent a letter telling Holmgren he would not stay with the team to be a "greeter, that of a mascot."
Holmgren attempted to contact Brown and wrote a letter trying to get the 74-year-old NFL legend to change his mind, but was unsuccessful. Holmgren said Lerner also sent a letter to Brown trying to persuade him to attend the ceremony Sunday when the Browns will honor their initial class into the ring of honor.
"I haven't heard from Jim, but the door is open," Holmgren said earlier this week when the Browns kicked off events connected with their ring of honor. "After he declined, I wrote another letter to him and again expressed my feelings on how much we would like him there, but understood that he might not be able to come.
"I left the door open. I'm holding out hope that we get that call in the next couple days."
Besides Brown, the only living Browns Hall of Famer who won't make it for the ring ceremony is Mike McCormack, a two-way star for the club from 1954-62. McCormack, who lives in the Seattle area, recently had surgery.