Jimmy Haslam’s nickname for Sashi Brown “offended many” in Browns organization

AP

The long and winding road that has led nowhere good for the Browns has been chronicled extensively by Seth Wickersham of ESPN.com. One specific aspect of the article raises eyebrows when it comes to the kind of casual racial stereotyping that would cause many in the modern climate to complain about political correctness.

But many in the Browns organization were offended by the nickname that owner Jimmy Haslam applied to former V.P. of football operations Sashi Brown. Per Wickersham, Haslam called Brown “Obama.”

“Haslam laughed at the nickname,” Wickersham writes, “but it offended many in the building as racial stereotyping — a sentiment that became even more amplified in 2018 after a secret recording of Mark Hazelwood, a person close to Haslam and a former president at Pilot [Flying J], was made public. On the recording, Hazelwood used a racial slur to describe football fans in a meeting of Pilot executives at which Haslam said he wasn’t present.”

Wickersham reports that Brown, who declined to comment on the matter to Wickersham, “didn’t think Haslam was being disrespectful with the Obama nickname, even if it caused others to cringe.” (Brown, like Barack Obama, attended Harvard Law School.)

Apart from the obvious racial connection, which is the obvious root of the cringing, the use of the nickname seems flat-out odd, given that Haslam’s personal politics would cause him to not hold the 44th President in high regard. Why would Haslam compare a key and trusted employee to someone about whom Haslam surely spent eight years griping?

While this specific wrinkle falls low on the list of things that have gone wrong for the Browns in recent years, it provides more proof that, indeed, there’s a chance that current ownership simply doesn’t get it.

35 responses to “Jimmy Haslam’s nickname for Sashi Brown “offended many” in Browns organization

  1. I miss the days of having a dignified individual as our president. The current occupant of the oval office is an embarrassment and an utter and complete disgrace

  2. I agree, nobody deserves to be equated with a President who coined phrases like “decision fatigue,” “leading from behind,” “funemployment,” and “managed decline.”

  3. He looks like a young Obama so why is it offensive? If he called another employee that looked like George W Bush, W or something would that be offensive?

  4. Considering that Haslam gave the GM jobs to Ray Farmer, Sashi Brown and kept on Hue Jackson long enough, all black men, I think this article is pointless. If you have nothing to write about, just don’t write then. We can all head over to ESPN and read the article for ourselves and form our own opinion. You’re pointlessly stirring the pot. I am Russian, people who have felt comfortable around me have joked and called me “Vlad”, when I wear adidas they would tell me “I am going for the Slav look”. I think Sashi Brown would have told Haslam if he were uncomfortable with it and is mature enough to understand it is pointless to throw a hissy fit over something so pointless.

  5. He called him Obama because they both went to Harvard law? And that’s an issue? I don’t think I get it.

    And weepingjebus, please turn off Fox news. Obama is 10 times the man our current Comrade in Chief is.

  6. “I miss the days of having a dignified individual as our president. The current occupant of the oval office is an embarrassment and an utter and complete disgrace”

    Its amazing the mods let this comment through with how itchy their trigger fingers are for anything they deem even remotely off topic. I wonder why?

  7. spartanlegend says:
    January 24, 2019 at 1:10 pm
    I miss the days of having a dignified individual as our president. The current occupant of the oval office is an embarrassment and an utter and complete disgrace.
    Have you considered going to a political website and cry about your displeasure over there ? Last I remembered this site was about the NFL.

  8. Weepingjebus says:

    January 24, 2019 at 1:14 pm

    I agree, nobody deserves to be equated with a President who coined phrases like “decision fatigue,” “leading from behind,” “funemployment,” and “managed decline.”

    I prefer those over “traitor in our midst”, “Putin’s BFF”, “rich people get richer”, and “I made the Clinton’s look like Saints”

  9. spartanlegend says:

    January 24, 2019 at 1:10 pm

    I miss the days of having a dignified individual as our president. The current occupant of the oval office is an embarrassment and an utter and complete disgrace
    __________________________________________________________________________________

    Wow. It only took one comment to bring up Trump. You people are ridiculous.

  10. Yet another example of what’s wrong with people today.
    I’m 28 , but people are WAY to soft. The PC police crowd is out of control. Everything is offensive.

  11. I think we can all see how that could be offensive (we shouldn’t bother pretending to not see how that could be offensive), but there are definitely some worse things in the report than calling someone the name of a former president. Brown’s personal comfortability is more important than ours’-if Haslam called him that behind his back, then it is a much more offensive situation. It is offensive because it seems like Haslam is just calling him that because he’s a smart black man, but it could also be that he thought he was complimenting him for being a successful black man who went to a good college. Not something I would suggest doing, but let’s also not pretend that the context in which this is presented can easily, easily alter the appearance of the nickname.

  12. Are you sure the NFL isn’t supplying all these deets?
    It would be more than convenient to divert attention away from NoCallGate.

  13. Dude looks ZERO like Obama. Regardless of Haslam’s reasoning, he’s supposed to be a leader, someone to look up to, someone with some class and decorum. He should have better sense than to say stuff like this.

    Why is it offensive? What if he’d nicknamed him Buckwheat? It’s insensitive, for one, for a whole bunch of different reasons. It smacks of “Hey, you’re black…who’s another black guy I can think of…?” which is just dumb, and yes, it’s offensive.

    Haslam should have more common sense, some basic human decency. It’s just tone deaf and baffling and brainless.

  14. No matter your politics, President Obama was/is likeable, intelligent, calmly well-spoken, etc. And, of course, he was a major success. Seems to me that those would be the traits would be associating with someone by nicknaming him “Obama”. Haslam didn’t do anything wrong to use that nickname; the wrong is with the ridiculous people who were offended by something so harmless.

  15. Maybe because it was the crappy job both Obama and Brown did and had zero to do with appearance. My neighbors call my wife Martha after Martha Stewart because she loves baking and decorating. She looks nothing like Martha Stewart.

  16. tylawspick6 says:
    January 24, 2019 at 1:47 pm

    amazing how many racists feel so comefortable now thinking it is normal, since trump was elected.

    Yes, truly amazing, almost as much as the irony of the statement

  17. Haslam is a smuck, no question about it. But, isn’t Wickersham the same clown who authored a piece of fiction regarding tension between Robert Kraft, Bill Belichick, and Tom Brady? I’m sorry, but there are 2 individuals whose “reporting” I can happily do without – this guy and Mort.

  18. Well he maybe bears a slight resemblance to a youngish Obama, but you’re all assuming it’s looks when it might be mannerism or voice tone, or legalistic/diplomatic waffle, or Brown maybe talking about Obama alot or an overt fan..

  19. People who use nicknames are dumb. It is a power move, meant to belittle others. Its the sorta thing a guy with a $56M fraud case, a MAGA hat and a draft record that includes Johnny Manziel would do. Whether its racist or not.

  20. What a freaking joke!!! If you think a co-worker and I’m guess a decent friend looks like somebody famous, thats wht you do, you call them by the name of that person. Nothing at all racist about this BS story!!!!!!!

  21. And weepingjebus, please turn off Fox news. Obama is 10 times the man our current Comrade in Chief is

    ================================

    how so?

  22. Let’s not forget that Wickersham is the same liar who completely fabricated all the New England stuff after the season ended last year, just another hack.

  23. Obama is a good man and was a good president, so no shame in that nickname. Being called Trump or Pence would be offensive.

  24. It’s because Sashi promised Hope and Change, but in the end all us Browns fans got was “If you like your 1-31, you can keep your 1-31”.

  25. To me, the real story is that no one who works for the Browns feels comfortable enough to tell Mr Haslam to his face that he needs to stop saying possibly racist stuff at work.

    Don’t tell the newspaper. Tell someone in the inner circle to pull Haslam aside and tell him, for the good of the business and to protect his own interests, he can no longer call the man “Obama”.

    This is some real emperor has no clothes stuff going on in Cleveland. They had better get someone in that inner circle who can put Haslam on a leash or that man is going to ruin Mayfield and the rest of that team.

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