Bill Russell And The Civil Rights Movement Essay

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On May 6, 1999, Bill Russell, the man who redefineed the center by his unique shot-blocking, man-to-man defense and rebounding ability, and contributed to his team Celtics by his outstanding performance and remarkable leadership, finally attended his own retirement ceremony after 27 years of retirement. This great man in the history of American basketball refused to have a ceremony in 1972 in Boston, the city he perceived as the “racist city”, because of his concern of discrimination. On February 15th, 2011, Bill Russell received the Medal of Freedom from President Obama for his contribution to civil rights movement. Obama described him as “the man who stand up for the dignity of all men”. From being insulted, being refused in restaurants during tournaments, intimidating the world with his long arms and strong opinions, to challenging the politics of sports and fighting against racism, it has been a long way for Bill Russell, for American basketball, and for American society. Basketball, one of the major sports in America, presents the civil rights breakthrough both in professional games and in colleges. The book “King of the Courts: Bill Russell and the Basketball Revolution” by Aram Goudsouzian and “Getting Open: The Unknown Story of Bill Garrett and the Integration of College Basketball” by Tom Graham, and Rachel Graham Cody, reveal the story of how two of the greatest players in the history of American basketball, broke the color barriers in basketball and foster the
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