William Felton “Bill” Russell, one of the biggest and important players in NBA history, completed another life cycle last Friday (12). At 87, the bill is still an example of vitality and resistance in the fight for racial justice.
The size of Bill Russell to celebrate a man’s birthday, here is a sneak preview of the resume, so no one can fail. During the 60s and 70s, Bill was a hero of the Boston Celtics dynasty, winning 11 NBA titles. That’s right: eleven. In addition, the living legend was a five-time MVP and was called to the All-Star Game in 12 editions.
Russell was captain of the United States basketball team in 1956, when the team was an Olympic champion. While leading the University of San Francisco to the second NCAA Championships (1955 and 1956), Russell became one of seven players to win the NCAA, NBA titles and gold medals at the Olympic Games.
Bill Russell crossed the line and was an example in the fight against racism. If we today call for the League’s athletes’ union to call for racial justice and boycott of matches, it is because the bill preceded this decade, under more precarious circumstances and with much less support.
Bill Russell (left), along with Muhammad Ali and Kareem Abdul Jabbar, in a meeting where the eleven most influential black athletes in the United States met in Cleveland to support the boxer’s decision to deny recruitment to the Vietnam War . – Photo: Robert Abbott Sengstack / Getty Images
At 61, he did not enter court because he faced racism at a restaurant in the city where the Boston Celtics would play. In 1975, he refused to enter the Hall of Fame because he would be the first black person – and he felt it would not be right, because others before him should have received such an honor.
The bill is an important figure on courts and extremism. This resistance, as black bodies are, should not be ours in demarcated spaces. And, therefore, this lesson is a bit spoiler about the content of this week’s Ubuntu Esporte Clube podcast, which extends the red carpet, or better, the green carpet, to tell the story and to name one of the most important athletes Refers to Game of the world.
Bill Russell and His Eleven NBA Champion Ring – Photo: Nathaniel S. Butler / NBA via Getty Image