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it isn’t from the racists, the bigots. It’s from the black community. It’s from your old allies. It’s from people who have spent the last sixty years defending you. Your face appears in what outsiders must think is a grimace. But it’s a smile that comes from somewhere deep and ancient, and you say, “This is glory.” Again. You matter. If this is a rough approximation of where Brown’s mind is, he’s deluded, and if it’s Zirin’s ventriloquism act, it rings false. It’s as if Zirin’s prose popped a Viagra and ran into the wall. Brown’s greatness as an athlete and activist will matter in the victory hall of posterity, but not here, not now—not in this nightmare burlesque melodrama we’re all trapped in. Michael Cohen matters. Paul Manafort matters. Robert Mueller preeminently matters. Jim Brown is a minor sideshow, an incidental noise-generator, in this highstakes charade. To truly matter in the existential present, he’d need to repudiate Donald Trump and own up on the women he’s hurt, and no one’s waiting around for that fairy tale to happen. But with Trump renewing his castigation of kneeling NFL players even as I type, imagine the impact if Brown told him to back off and let these grown men exercise their freedom of expression. A statement of solidarity from Jim Brown would defy Trump’s rhino charge and earn Brown back some of the respect he’s lost in the last year. It wouldn’t make up for everything, but partial redemption is better than none.