10 Most Controversial Cleveland Sports Stars Of All Time

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4. Jim Brown

Jim Brown may be the best all-around athlete to ever grace the city of Cleveland with his talents, but the NFL Hall of Famer has also had his share of controversy.

Dating back to Brown’s playing days, the running back shocked the NFL world when he abruptly retired just before the start of the 1966 season. Brown was just 30 at the time of his retirement, and had just led the league in rushing for the eighth time in nine seasons.

Off the field, Brown has been investigated for crimes against women. In 1968, he was even charged with assault with intent to commit murder after model Eva Bohn-Chin was found beneath the balcony of his second floor apartment, according to CNN.

Bohn-Chin wouldn’t name Brown as her assailant and the charge was dismissed. But the Hall of Famer had to pay a $300 fine for “striking” a deputy sheriff during the same incident.

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In 1999, Brown was found guilty of vandalism after he smashed his wife’s car with a shovel. He was fined $1,800 and sentenced to three years probation, one year of domestic violence counseling and 400 hours of community service. But rather than go to counseling, Brown refused, opting instead to spend four months of 2002 behind bars.

Lately, Brown’s kept himself out of legal proceedings. He’s still employed by the Browns as some sort of special advisor and was sitting in owner Jimmy Haslam’s box as recent as the 2014 season.

During the Mike Holmgren era, Brown had his title as “executive advisor” removed. Brown believes he wasn’t one of Holmgren’s cronies, and that the former team president didn’t understand his relationship with the city.

Next: Shawn Kemp