Humanitarian, activist, and Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell passed over the weekend. Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson has called on NBA commissioner Adam Silver to retire Russell’s #6.
— Bri Marie D (@Brimaried) August 3, 2022
Bill Russell was more than just an 11-time champion. Russell was just as known for his work off the court as for his playing days. Over the weekend, thousands of tributes were made for the Celtics great. Magic Johnson’s call for Adam Silver to retire Russell’s jersey across the NBA made a big statement.
Commissioner Adam Silver should retire number 6 across the @NBA in honor of Bill Russell’s legacy!
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) August 2, 2022
Another Lakers legend Jerry West probably wouldn’t disagree with Magic’s call. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, West compared Russell to Jackie Robinson.
“In every generation, people make a difference not only with their play but also with their persona. Bill Russell and Jackie Robinson were in that same class.”
While In The NBA, Bill Russell Was Heavily Involved In The Civil Rights Movement And Had An FBI File Open On Him.
The FBI Described Him As "An Arrogant Negro Who Refuses To Sign Autographs For White Kids." (1/2) pic.twitter.com/XEAiRUiL3I
— Northstar.TV🖤 (@Northstartv1) July 31, 2022
Things weren’t easy for Russell, but he continued to push forward. Russell was a pioneer and set an example for us. Russell spoke out for those who were persecuted or seen as a minority. Russell’s words in support of the LGBTQ+ are often overlooked but should not be forgotten.
Bill Russell was one of the kindest, most thoughtful people I’ve ever met. Once called out of the blue because he thought I looked sad on TV…best pep talk of my life. RIP
— Jon Stewart (@jonstewart) July 31, 2022
In 2011, Russell was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by U.S. President Barack Obama.