The Bureau's file on the late NBA star demonstrates their suspicion of the civil rights movement and disdain for politically engaged Black athletes. It also contains a memo alleging Russell placed a significant wager against the Celtics as player-coach, although many known facts and lack of follow-up make that allegation doubtful.
SOURCE: The Atlantic
Sportswriter Jemele Hill writes that Russell was a model for later activist athletes because he rejected silence and sought to build solidarity with others.
by Jack Hamilton
"Bill Russell wasn’t just everything we should want out of people who play sports; he was everything we should want out of public figures, an absurdly gifted human being who understood there was a world outside those gifts and who set himself to help change it."
by Peniel E. Joseph
Russell always insisted on exposing the extent of prejudice and discrimination, and refused to settle for acclaim as an athlete as a substitute for respect as a person.
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