Jim Brown: 'I Will Never Again Raise My Hand To Anyone'

NEW YORK (AP) - Football great Jim Brown, who chose jail over community service for vandalizing his wife's car, says he'll never get violent again.

"I will never again raise my hand to anyone regardless of what they do to me," Brown told interviewer Bob Costas for Thursday night's "On the Record" on HBO. "It's such a weak gesture. I regret any physical acts against anyone."

The 66-year-old Brown (pictured, above) was convicted of misdemeanor vandalism.

Jurors acquitted him of the more serious charge of making a terrorist threat during an argument with his wife in 1999.

Judge Dale S. Fischer initially sentenced Brown to a year of domestic violence counseling. She also ordered the Hall of Fame running back to spend 40 days on a work crew cleaning up streets or put in 400 hours of community service, pay $1,800 in fines and serve three years probation.

But Brown, who finished sixth in an Associated Press poll of the 20th century's greatest athlete, refused to do that. So the judge imposed a six-month jail term and ordered that Brown be separated from other prisoners because of his celebrity status.

Brown was interviewed through a glass screen in the visitor's room at the jail, with the sounds of other visitors in the background. Jail officials refused to grant Costas a private interview, saying Brown was to be treated just like anyone else.

Brown spends 23 hours a day in a cell he said is about 6-by-10 feet.

"It's just small enough to drive you crazy if your mind is weak," he said.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)