That’s 83-year old Bill Russell (and his Presidential Medal of Freedom) letting the world know exactly where he stands on the social injustice movement that’s captivated America’s attention.
The photo was released from an unverified Twitter account last night but Bleacher Report confirmed its authenticity.
This is nothing new for Russell. He’s a god damn civil rights pioneer.
For those who don’t know (via The Crossover: A Brief History of Basketball and Race)…
When he joined the NBA, Russell decried what he saw as de facto quotas that capped the number of black players in the league. There were only 15 at the time.
In 1961, a Lexington, Ky., restaurant wouldn’t seat Russell and his black Celtics teammates before an exhibition game. They boycotted the game, a ground-breaking statement at a time when black athletes had been expected to look the other way at such discrimination.
After the 1963 assassination of civil rights leader Medgar Evers in Jackson, Miss., Russell flew down to lead the city’s first integrated basketball camps.
Take a knee. Stand up. I don’t care what you do, just as long as you bow down for a true legend.