Celtics legend and Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Russell is no stranger to activism.
He lists "civil rights activist" first in his Twitter bio, before 11-time NBA champion. Russell has spoken out against injustice for more than half a century. So, on the final day of Black History Month, Russell, who turned 85 this month, donned a Colin Kaepernick jersey in a photo he tweeted Thursday morning in a show of solidarity with the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback.
On the final day of #BlackHistoryMonth I wanted to make sure I show my support to @Kaepernick7 #ImWithKap #BHM @yourrightscamp @Nike #TrueTo7 @BleacherReport @espn @SLAMonline #Stoptheviolence pic.twitter.com/amg3PMMIbm— TheBillRussell (@RealBillRussell) February 28, 2019
Kaepernick protested inequality and police brutality by taking a knee during the national anthem before games beginning in 2016 and was eventually released by the 49ers. He hasn't played in the NFL since and recently won a settlement, reportedly worth millions, from the NFL after he filed a grievance claiming owners had colluded to keep him out of the league.
It's not the first time Russell has supported the efforts of Kaepernick and other NFL players who followed the quarterback's lead and protested during the anthem. Back in 2017 when the controversy over the protests raged and President Donald Trump weighed in against the players' actions, Russell himself took a knee - wearing the 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom presented to him by President Barack Obama - in a photo he tweeted.
Proud to take a knee, and to stand tall against social injustice." #takeaknee #medaloffreedom #NFL #BillRussell #MSNBC pic.twitter.com/1MhinoAcW7— TheBillRussell (@RealBillRussell) September 25, 2017
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