'A Football Life: Jim Brown' set to air Friday night

The historic life of Jim Brown -- both on and off the field -- will be on display in primetime.

The legendary running back is the latest subject of NFL Network's 'A Football Life' series, which will air Friday at 9 p.m.

The show will take an in-depth look at Brown, who is considered one of the game's best players and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971, and his accomplishments over the past six decades.

Brown, who helped lift Cleveland to the NFL Championship in 1964, was also an influential figure in fighting back against racial inequality and injustice.

"I was never going to let anybody make me feel that I was not top shelf," he said in the film. "And that was a battle that raged, and I could use a lot of that on the field."

His Amer-I-Can Program works toward helping people in need "meet their academic potential, to conform their behavior to acceptable society standards, and to improve the quality of their lives by equipping them with the critical life management skills to confidently and successfully contribute to society."

The one-hour show looks at how Brown channeled that frustration and passion into one of the greatest careers in professional sports. The film also highlights guests such as former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith, Bears linebacker Dick Butkus, basketball Hall-of-Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, former Browns receiver and Hall of Famer Paul Warfield, filmmaker Oliver Stone, civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson, and Muhammad Ali's widow Lonnie Ali.

"Jim Brown really represented achievement for the black community. And he was so good that it didn't matter what color they were; they had to acknowledge him as the best in his field," Abdul-Jabbar told the network.

"And that meant a lot to black Americans in the 60s, when everything that any black person achieved was questioned as to whether it was significant. But there were no question marks about Jim Brown.

Brown, who played from 1957-65, was recently honored in by the Cleveland Browns in September with a statue in his likeness outside of FirstEnergy Stadium.

Each episode of A Football Life – as well as all NFL Network programming – is streamed live on the NFL Mobile from Verizon app ( and via Watch NFL Network on tablet (NFL Mobile and Watch NFL Network apps), PC (, Xbox One and Xbox 360(NFL on Xbox app) and other connected TV devices (NFL app on Apple TV and Playstation 4).​

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