Bill Russell honored with congressional resolution led by MA lawmakers


“May he rest in peace and power.”

Late Celtics great Bill Russell was honored in a resolution led by Massachusetts lawmakers. AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

On Wednesday, Massachusetts lawmakers introduced a resolution to honor Bill Russell.

Senators Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren, along with Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, introduced the bill in honor of the Celtics great, who died July 31 at age 88. According to Markey’s office, the resolution is meant to honor Russell’s career and civil rights advocacy.

“Bill Russell was a hero, a disruptor, a leader, a giant,” Markey said in a statement.. “He was brilliance, fairness and justice personified. The greatest winner in the history of all sports and in the consciousness of our city and our country. We honor Bill Russell’s legacy as Celtic, champion and crusader. With heavy hearts, we express our deepest condolences to his friends, family and fans for this loss. »

Russell won 11 championships in 13 seasons and became the NBA’s first black head coach, leading the Celtics to a pair of titles as player and coach.

Warren highlighted Russell’s efforts on and off the court.

“Not only did he help lead the Celtics to an astonishing 11 NBA championships, but he also engaged in courageous and righteous fights – marching alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., speaking out against segregation in the public schools of Boston during the prime of his career and regularly advocating for civil rights and racial justice,” Warren said. “I am grateful to join Senator Markey and Representative Pressley in honoring his legacy.”

In addition to marching with King and advocating against segregation in Boston, Russell supported Muhammad Ali’s refusal to join the military. Russell received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama in 2011, and the city of Boston erected a statue in his honor in 2013.

“Bill Russell was an undisputed champion both on and off the field, and he was a shameless advocate for a fairer and more equitable world. But most importantly, he was a man with a family and a good community. -beloved,” Pressley said in a statement. “The intent of Congress is powerful, and a resolution is a statement of appreciation from Congress for Bill Russell’s endless contributions throughout his life.

“I extend my sincere condolences to his loved ones. May he rest in peace and power.


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