Bill Russell, who passed away last summer at 88, was an amazing basketball player and as brave a man as professional sports has ever witnessed. People talk a lot about his Civil Rights advocacy, but what a lot of people miss is that when he did it, he accepted a lot of risk, both financially and just in terms of his basic safety. Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Medgar Evers, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner are just some of the people who paid with their lives. Russell backed down to no one. We’ll never know how many threats he faced, but we do know that he faced them all with immense courage.
He was a highly unusual man in many ways, and naturally, there are many stories about Russell.
This video goes into some of them with tributes by later players and of course some of his contemporaries. It offers some great insights into the man and the uncompromising way he lived his life.