The New York Times faced a hail of criticism online Friday after including the accusations of domestic violence against NFL legend Jim Brown in a tweet referencing the player’s death.
News of Brown’s death broke Friday afternoon as a spokeswoman for the Brown family confirmed that the Pro Football Hall of Famer and civil rights activist had passed away peacefully at his home in Los Angeles at the age of 87.
The New York Times posted their story on Brown’s historic sports career and the impact he left as an actor and activist. However, the tweet describing the article also included a reference to the accusations of domestic violence against Brown.
Breaking News: Jim Brown has died at 87. He was acclaimed as one of the greatest players in pro football history, an actor and a civil rights activist. He was also accused of domestic violence. https://t.co/3xrYGf4F3b pic.twitter.com/LKGg1rL4IY
— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 19, 2023
Jim Brown, who was acclaimed as one of the greatest players in pro football history and who remained in the public eye, though his name was later tarnished by accusations of violent conduct against women, has died at 86. https://t.co/zn5wivt50J
— New York Times Arts (@nytimesarts) May 19, 2023
Twitter users were quick to denounce the Times for prominently placing information about the NFL legend’s past with domestic violence in the tweet.
— Golden.State.Chiller (@GoldenSt_Chillr) May 19, 2023
The New York Times included “he was also accused of domestic violence” in their tweet about the death of Jim Brown… Have they also included what Jordan Neely was accused in their tweets about him? @Timcast @realDailyWire
— jake barnes (@smushmachine) May 19, 2023
It’s the New York Times vs. ESPN for scumbag of the week. Who’s obit was worst. Sam Zell or Jim Brown.?
— Scott McNair (@Scott_McNair_67) May 19, 2023
You really just threw that last sentence in on the day he passed? pic.twitter.com/cW2pWXyrgK
— Boston ☘️ Mike (@boston_sp0rts20) May 19, 2023
— Brother Noah (@BrothaNoah) May 19, 2023
Yo NYT why would you add that to this article.
— SDOT (@GA_BALLA) May 19, 2023
Most news publications included information about the domestic violence accusations against Brown in their obituaries.
“While he had a soft spot for those in need, and his generosity changed lives, he also was arrested a half-dozen times, mostly on charges of hitting women,” the Associated Press reported in their article marking Brown’s death.
“In June 1999, Brown’s wife called 911, saying Brown had smashed her car with a shovel and threatened to kill her. During the trial, Monique Brown recanted. Jim Brown was acquitted of a charge of domestic threats but convicted of misdemeanor vandalism. The Los Angeles judge sentenced Brown to six months in jail when he refused to attend domestic violence counseling.”
However, the New York Times seems to be one of the few outlets that placed the domestic violence accusations prominently in their social media posts and in the articles themselves.