A.J. Brown was born on June 30, 1997, and raised in Starkville, Mississippi. The Philadelphia Eagles’ wide receiver’s parents are Arthur Brown and Josette Robertson and he grew up playing both baseball and football. He is now a father himself to a daughter and a son.
Here’s what you need to know about A.J. Brown’s family:
1. A.J. Brown Was Born & Raised in Starkville, Mississippi & Had a Love for Baseball as Well
Brown was born and raised in Starkville, Mississippi, and was surrounded by a supportive environment at the 16th Section Missionary Baptist Church in Starkville. His father, Arthur Brown, described the congregation as an extended family.
“It was a blessing to have everybody in the community,” he told WCBI. “Then, you got the youth department, like Mrs. Ware that would grab them, say, ‘Now, all right.'” Mrs. Ware’s full name is Bridgett Ware-Gay and she is the mother of Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Willie Gay Jr.
When Brown was growing up, he played both baseball and football but appeared to be leaning more toward the former sport, where he played center field, rather than the latter. Part of that preference was due to his father’s love of baseball.
“His dad was more of a baseball fan,” said Ricky Woods, who was then head coach of Starkville High School, in an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer. “But he didn’t choose what [Brown] wanted to do. But I think his senior year, he was in a dilemma of what he was going to do. He had such a great senior year, I think football was the way he wanted to go.”
When Brown was growing up, he had a batting cage in his father’s backyard, NFL.com reported. “I started swinging a bat as soon as I could walk,” Brown told the Clarion Ledger. He described that he’d often be swinging a bat around the house, and said he once accidentally hit a fish tank and smashed it.
“He always said he didn’t wanna do nothing but play baseball, and that he was going to the major leagues,” Arthur Brown told the Athletic. During his high school years, Brown started developing a preference for football over baseball, and he shared with the Inquirer, “I like scoring touchdowns over hitting home runs.”
2. A.J. Brown’s Father Is Arthur Brown, Who Instilled in His Son a Good Work Ethic
Brown’s father was an influential figure who often gave his son advice, and whose teachings guided the NFL star through his career. According to the Athletic, Brown’s decision to attend his hometown’s rival college, the University of Mississippi, instead of Mississippi State was rooted in his father raising him to follow his convictions instead of worrying about what others thought about him. He chose Ole Miss because he wanted to try to beat the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Brown has opened up about his father’s influence on his career and wrote in a piece for the Tennessee Titans, “I mentioned my dad earlier, too, and he’s the one who instilled in me to work hard at a young age. He’s retired now, but he worked for the electric company and I remember his work ethic.”
“He was a good athlete growing up,” Brown continued. “His sport was baseball, and he was really good at it. And he always pushed me to be the best I can be. I still remember him telling me at a very young age: If you are not trying to be the best, then you need to find something else to do. So I have to give my dad credit for giving me that competitive edge and pushing me, and now it is up to me.”
In addition to teaching him a good work ethic, Brown’s father taught him humility. Woods, his high school coach, recalled to the Philadelphia Inquirer that he told Brown the No. 1 jersey was available. “He said, ‘Yeah, I’d like to take No. 1, but I gotta talk to my father,'” Woods recounted. “He talked to his father and came back in and said, ‘My daddy doesn’t want me to wear No. 1; that [means] I’m the best player on the team.”
Brown’s father Arthur Brown worked for Starkville’s electrical service for 24 years and was forced to retire in 2009 after a workplace accident that injured his back, NFL.com reported. He lived on a 165-acre property, which was a lot of space for his son to run around on.
3. A.J. Brown’s Mother, Josette Robertson, Is an Entrepreneur Who Lives in Nashville, Tennessee & He Has 2 Sisters
Brown’s mother is Josette Robertson, and he has two sisters, Reva and Shareda. His mother lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is an entrepreneur who runs a jewelry business called Joe’s Sharing the Jewels. “Welcome, my name is Josette Robertson, I am a mother of three and a MeeMee of five,” her website states. “I love sharing peace, love, joy, sharing positive vibes and sharing the jewels.”
Brown’s older sister is Reva Claybrook and she lives in Clarksville, Tennessee. The mother of two is also an entrepreneur who started her own business with her daughter called Zoey’s Bow2ful Boutique. When Brown was selected by the Tennessee Titans in 2019, he referenced his sister living in Nashville as a bonus for him. “She’s 28, several years older than me, so it was nice to have her here to help me get settled in,” he told the Titans in 2019.
“Really, that was huge for me,” he continued. “When you go to a new place, you want to be around your family and she would cook me home-cooked meals, and she just made me feel like I wasn’t alone… I was 21 years old when I got drafted and going off to live on your own is an adjustment, different from college. Having my sister here helped, but I think me just being the way I am helped too. I am a homebody.”
4. A.J. Brown Is a Father of 2 & Said He Loves Being a Father & It’s Changed His Outlook on His Career
Brown is a father of two and while he hasn’t spoken much about his children’s mother in public, he’s spilled on fatherhood and how much he loves having a son and daughter. His daughter Jersee was born in May 2020 and Brown shared the following year how inspired he was by his baby girl. “My little girl, she’s amazing,” he told reporters. “She’s the reason I’m still going today. I don’t even have the words for it. She gives me strength, she’s who I play for.”
His second child, a son named A.J. Brown Jr., was born in September 2022. He said his daughter was so excited to have a little brother and “couldn’t stop smiling,” according to Josh Tolentino of the Philly Inquirer. Brown added, “When I go home, I’m a father. When I’m in the building, I’m working. Once the kids go to bed, I do what I need to do to get ready for the game… Sleep is tough. It’s been a tough 48 hours. But I’ll make sure I get some rest before the game.”
He said becoming a father changed his outlook on football and his career, explaining that he doesn’t just play to “be the best” now but also to provide for his family. “Now that I have a little boy, a little son, it means the world to me,” he said, according to NBC Sports. “Hopefully, I can play long enough for him to understand that his dad’s in the NFL.”
5. A.J. Brown Said Family Is What’s Most Important & He Loves Being With His Family
Brown has opened up about how getting to the NFL has been an amazing opportunity for him to help his family. “For me, personally, I feel like I’ve won,” he told the Athletic. “I’ve changed my family’s life forever. That’s the goal. Especially growing up where I’m from. Of course, I want to do great and accomplish all the great things. But that’s the reason why we play the game.”
He spoke about becoming a father and said he loves spending him with his family. “Man, I’m a happy, happy man,” he told SJ Mag. “My kids, I love being with my family… When I’m not here, I’m home and I’m watching movies and changing diapers and playing with my kids. I’m a big family guy. I love it all.”
He added that he was appreciative of the fans in Philadelphia who have been welcoming and described meeting people when out with his family. “At the end of the day, it’s a blessing,” he shared. “That’s how I feel about the whole thing. I’m playing for my family and this team and Eagles fans who are so supportive. I appreciate all of this.’”