Cleveland, OH, United States (4E Sports) – NFL Hall of Famer and Cleveland Browns legend Jim Brown revealed that his 1964 championship ring was stolen from him.
“It was stolen from me many years ago, in the late 1960s,” Brown said. “I’m surprised to hear that it’s publicly for sale because whoever got it should know that I didn’t give it up.”
The ring is currently being auctioned by Lelands.com, which disputed Brown’s claim.
“We never sell anything that has been stolen or not authenticated,” Josh Evans, chairman of Lelands.com, said. “It’s unfortunate that [Brown] has gone in this direction, but it came from a family member who turned around and sold it.”
Brown said he believed a police report was filed when it was first discovered that it was stolen.
Lelands.com had said the ring has actually been sold several times after it was passed down from Brown to a family member. The ring is currently owned by Evans. His auction house first sold the ring to a bidder in 1998 before buying it back again.
In the auction listing, Lelands.com claims that Brown vouched for its authenticity when the ring was auctioned 16 years ago.
However, Brown is disputing that notion, saying he wants the ring back.
“I’m going to definitely do whatever action is open to me because my property was stolen and I haven’t authenticated anything,” Brown said. “It’s my property so [Leland.com's sale] should be against the law.”
Brown ran for 114 yards on 27 carries to help the Browns upset the Baltimore Colts 27-0 that day, which is the last time a Cleveland sports team had won a major sports title.
At the time, the ring made by L.G. Balfour, wasn’t so much the prize as much as the winning player shares of $8,000 ($61,400 in today’s dollars).
But money wasn’t everything to Brown who retired at the age of 30 in 1966 after nine seasons in the league with one year and $60,000 left on his contract.