Bill Russell’s Off-Court Example Is What Resonates Most, Now and Beyond

Published by
Sports Illustrated

By Chris Herring The Celtics icon helped push civil rights and the interests of Black athletes to the forefront. It would be reductionist to talk about the late Bill Russell through only the prism of some of the worst, ugliest things that ever happened to him. After all, Russell—who died Sunday at 88— was, and still is, the greatest winner in the history of major professional American sports, and a barrier breaker in every sense of the word. Still, for a 35-year-old like myself—and for those even younger than me—the reality of Russell’s legacy as a human is that you can’t fully sum him up with…

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