Why 3-time Emmy winning sportscaster didn't want to be another statistic

James (J.B.) Brown hopes his story inspires others to change their lives for the better

Q: You have recently lost a lot of weight. What was the motivation behind that?
A: Solomon was the wisest and richest man in the world, but when he got off track from God, he realized everything apart from God was meaningless. I want my life to be one of significance. That was my main motivating factor behind losing 84 pounds over the past year or so. 3 John 1:2 says “Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.” Before I took the first supplement or went to my first nutritional counseling, I was inspired that Dr. Ray, who founded Nutrimost, was basing his program on biblical principles. My aim was to be healthy in order to be a person of significance and to make a difference in people’s lives. I feel like the Energizer Bunny now after losing so much weight and I continue to do the right things to keep my body healthy. I wanted to get physically healthy, of course, but my overriding motivation was to be a vessel for the Lord’s use.

Q: You speak at many conferences for men. What are some of the issues that men are dealing with in today’s society?
A: What I see over and over again, regardless of the issue, is that men don’t talk to other men about their challenges. I have spoken to organizations that work with women’s shelters and directly to men, coaches, and athletes in the sports world, and have addressed issues related to domestic violence. Men frequently don’t seek help when they need it nor do they speak to their friends when they see signs of spousal abuse, thinking “It’s not my business.” Men desperately need to be transparent and to be accountable. They need a safe place to voice their struggles and frustrations, and we have seen positive results when men commit to meeting together on a regular basis. Ephesians 5 explains how men are to treat their wives, and how God set up the Family unit as the first government. All men need to learn what healthy manhood looks like, and how to lead their families.

Q: Talk about your work with at-risk kids. What can we do to make a difference for children who need help at early ages?
A: My wife and I served as youth ministers in our church many years ago. In my experience, the biggest issue with children and young adults today is the absence of love in their lives. I watch kids even in 4th and 5th grades talk to each other in such disrespectful and vitriolic ways. Even their body language shows them to be closed off from others and their countenances show despair and despondency. We can see young men being “wired” at an early age to not show sensitivity and caring toward others because they may perceive it as a weakness. They are venting what they are missing at home. I remember asking one youngster what he prays for most frequently and he said that he prays every night for his family to be together. Statistical evidence suggests that more than one-third of all Black children in the United States under the age of 18 live with unmarried mothers When you have kids at these young ages that are already so hardened toward other people, it just breaks my heart. I want to help these young kids learn to speak kindly toward one another and teach them respect, but we must get to the root of the problem. This is an issue that, ultimately, affects everyone in our society, and it must be addressed.

Q: How difficult is it to exhibit your faith in your role as sportscaster for CBS and Showtime?
A: I don’t go around trying to beat people over the head with the Bible; I try to model it in my lifestyle. CBS does not pay me to proselytize. However, my job is to model what I believe, whether it’s in the secular field or doing ministry. I try to do my job with excellence so that there’s no complaining, no issues at all about me not only meeting the mark but exceeding the mark, treating people like I want to be treated, like Christ treats us, with grace and love. My call as a minister, my belief in Jesus Christ, is the foundational stone of my life. The Word of God undergirds everything I do. For example, think about how you speak, the type of language you use. Well, the Bible says, “evil communication corrupts good manners” (1 Cor. 15:33, KJV). So even though I’m around athletes and, at times, there can be a lot profanity used in the locker room, I know you don’t need to engage in profanity-laced tirades to encourage somebody to excellence. God’s Word does that. Early on, I admit I wanted to blend in. When people around me used profanity, they would say, “Oh, J.B., I’m sorry,” and I would say, “No, no, it’s okay.” But it’s not okay. So now I don’t say that. When they say, “J.B., oh, I’m sorry,” I say “thank you.” I appreciate that, and I think it’s a show of respect. We have to give our lives to God and allow him to use us wherever we are.

About James (J.B.) Brown:

James Brown is the current host of “The NFL Today” on CBS, “The James Brown Show”, a nationally syndicated sports and entertainment broadcast series, and “Inside the NFL” on Showtime. A three-time Emmy Award-winning network broadcaster, Brown has hosted the Super Bowl eight times including Super Bowl 50 on CBS. Brown is also a Special Correspondent for CBS News and contributes to various programs such as “60 Minutes” and “CBS This Morning.” Brown most recently received the 2016 Pete Rozelle Award Award by the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which recognizes “longtime exceptional contributions to radio and television in professional football", and “The Uncommon Award” from Tony Dungy for his “uncommon leadership through character and faith.” He was the first recipient of the annual Pat Summerall Award in 2006, and in 2010, he was named “Best Studio Host of the Decade” by Sports Illustrated. He is a co-founder and principal of the Brown Technology Group, a certified minority-owned and operated information technology company, and is a founding partner of the Major League Baseball’s Washington Nationals. He resides today in the Washington metropolitan area with his wife Dorothy. His daughter Katrina and her husband John have blessed them with three granddaughters and one grandson.

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