Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown has filed a lawsuit against a memorabilia dealer over the sale of his 1964 championship ring.
The lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday in Manhattan federal court againstLelands Collectibles Inc. and Lelands.com, seeks to prevent the ring from being sold in an online auction ending Friday, as well as damages over comments that Joshua Evans, the founder of Lelands, made about Brown.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the ring had been bid up to $58,948.
Brown claims the ring was stolen from him more than 40 years ago and is being auctioned online without his consent.
Rare and classic photos of Jim Brown
Rare Photos of Jim Brown
A four-sport athlete for Syracuse, Jim Brown starred in football for three seasons, was the second leading scorer on the basketball team, ran track and was named a first-team All-America in lacrosse.
Jim Brown stands in his ROTC uniform at Archbold Stadium, Syracuse's football stadium until 1978.
Jim Brown looks at a football play on a chalkboard at Syracuse. He graduated from the university in 1957.
Jim Brown and teammates Mike Bill, Ron Luciano, Al Benecick and Frank Manbuca train on ropes before the 1956 college football season.
Jim Brown shares a meal with Syracuse quarterback Chuck Zimmerman in 1956. That season Brown rushed for 986 yards with 14 touchdowns in just eight games and was named a first-team All-America. He also finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting.
Syracuse quarterback Chuck Zimmerman calls signals alongside Jim Brown at the line of scrimmage during a game against Holy Cross in 1956.
Jim Brown talks with fellow students Chuck Meyer and Phyllis Goldstein on Syracuse University campus in 1956. Brown had suffered a cut on his forehead in a 26-12 upset victory over Maryland.
A great collegiate lacrosse player, Jim Brown was a second-team All-America his junior year and a first-team All-America his senior year, when he scored 43 goals in 10 games, the second most in the nation.
Jim Brown tries to escape a tackle from the New York Giants' Ray Wietecha in the snow at Yankee Stadium in 1958. Brown gained 148 rushing yards in the game, 65 of them coming on a touchdown run in the first quarter for Cleveland's only touchdown. The Browns lost just four games that season, three to the Giants, including a 10-0 defeat in the playoffs.
Jim Brown huddles up with a jacket and teammates on the bench during a cold game against the New York Giants in 1959. He ranks 15th in career yards per attempt and fifth in career rushing touchdowns with 5.2 and 106, respectively.
Jim Brown and Ernie Davis hold up Davis' No. 45 Browns jersey. Brown and Davis were set to be teammates with the Cleveland Browns, but Davis was diagnosed with leukemia while preparing for the 1962 College All-Star Game and died in 1963. The Browns retired Davis' jersey after his death.
Jim Brown springs up field surrounded by blockers against the Philadelphia Eagles in 1961. Brown gained 140 yards from scrimmage in Cleveland's 27-20 loss in the season opener.
Jim Brown extends a stiff arm as he runs away from the New York Giants defense at Cleveland Municipal Stadium in 1961. Brown did a lot of running away from defenses in 1961 as he topped 100 yards per game for the fourth straight season, racking up 1,408 rushing yards plus another 459 receiving.
Jim Brown runs through the mud and the 49ers defense in a game in San Francisco in 1962. Although he failed to earn All-Pro distinction for the only time in his career, Brown still gained 1,513 yards from scrimmage with 18 total touchdowns and was selected for the Pro Bowl.
Jim Brown sits on the bench during a game in 1963. He was named the UPI NFL MVP that season after rushing for a career-high 1,863 yards with 12 touchdowns.
Jim Brown rushes agains the New York Giants during a game in 1963. Brown's career average of 104.3 yards per game is still the best in NFL history.
Jim Brown walks off the field after the Cleveland Browns dominated the New York Giants 52-20 in 1964. The victory capped off a 10-3-1 regular season that sent the Browns to the NFL Championship Game.
Jim Brown chats with teammates Gene Hickerson and Frank Ryan on the Cleveland Browns bench during a game in 1964 against the New York Giants at Yankee Stadium, the Giants' home stadium from 1956 to 1973.
Always a physical runner, Brown takes on the New York Giants' Jim Katcavage, Jimmy Patton and Lou Slaby in a 1964 matchup at Yankee Stadium.
Jim Brown attempts to leap over the pile against the Baltimore Colts in the 1964 NFL Championship Game. He gained 114 yards on 27 carries as the Cleveland Browns routed the Colts 27-0. It was the only championship of Brown's career.
Jim Brown gets wrapped up on a carry against the Minnesota Vikings at Cleveland Municipal Stadium in 1965. His 39 yards were his second lowest total of the season.
Jim Brown stands alone on the sideline during a game against the Eagles in 1965, the final season of his career. Brown rushed for 1,554 yards with 17 touchdowns that season, including 131 yards and three total touchdowns against the Eagles in a November matchup.
Jim Brown sits in the audience in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, for the heavyweight title fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in 1974. Brown once decided he wanted to fight Ali, but after Ali demonstrated his superior boxing skills, Brown decided his challenge was not such a good idea.
Jim Brown poses in December 1983, 18 years after the conclusion of his playing career. Towards the end and following the conclusion of his football career, Brown became a successful actor, appearing in "The Dirty Dozen," "The Running Man," and "Any Given Sunday." He briefly considered returning to football in 1983 with the Los Angeles Raiders, but never did.
Jim Brown sits next to President Bill Clinton and wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson as Clinton talks during a town meeting on race and sports in Houston in 1998.
Jim Brown and then-New Orleans Saints running back Ricky Williams cover up behind a surfboard for a Sports Illustrated feature in 1999.
Jim Brown and running back Ricky Williams splash around in Brown's pool at his home in Hollywood Hills, Calif., in 1999. Brown met with the star Texas running back before the start of his promising career with the New Orleans Saints.
Jim Brown holds hands with his wife, Monique, at Sports Illustrated's 20th Century Sports Awards in 2002. Brown was honored at the New York ceremony as the best football player.
Christina Milian, Jay-Z and Jim Brown pose together during a party hosted by Ocean Drive magazine at the Ritz-Carlton, South Beach hotel in Miami Beach, a day before the MTV Video Music Awards.
Jim Brown returned to his alma mater, Syracuse, to speak at the dedication of Syracuse's football field to Heisman Trophy winner Ernie Davis in 2009.
Jim Brown poses for a portrait as part of Sports Illustrated's "Where Are They Now" issue in 2011. He is the only player to be inducted into the College Football, Pro Football and Lacrosse Halls of Fame.
Jim Brown and his wife Monique watch the pregame workouts before the New York Jets game against the Cleveland Browns at MetLife Stadium in 2015.
A passage in the description of the ring on Lelands.com reads:
“The ring was obtained directly from a Brown immediate family member and sold by Lelands.com in 1998. During that original auction preview, Jim Brown himself inspected the ring and acknowledged its authenticity.”
Brown spoke with Cleveland.com about the ring in early July. “I never spoke to anyone from there about the authenticity of the ring and I never would have given that ring to a family member," he said.
Brown rushed for 12,312 yards and 106 touchdowns and made the Pro Bowl all nine seasons of his career.
- Chris Johnson