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Bill Russell releases statement apologizing for handgun incident at Seattle airport

Bill Russell, David Stern

Former Boston Celtics basketball player Bill Russell, left, hugs National Basketball Association Commissioner David Stern during an award ceremony for the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal at Harvard University, in Cambridge, Mass., Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013. Six people, including Stern, were recipients of the award for 2013. Harvard has awarded the medal since 2000 to people whose work has contributed to African and African-American culture. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

AP

NBA legend Bill Russell was arrested on Friday after bringing a handgun into a prohibited area at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

All of the details make it seem like this was nothing more than an honest mistake -- the 79-year old was stopped after security officials found a handgun in his carry-on bag, but Russell had a permit for the weapon and was released after receiving a citation.

Russell released a statement publicly apologizing for the incident.

From Baxter Holmes of the Boston Globe:

“Before boarding my flight from Seattle to Boston, I had accidentally left a legal firearm in my bag. I apologize and truly regret the mistake,” he said. “I was issued a citation by the TSA, whose agents couldn’t have been more thorough and professional when dealing with this. I really appreciate their efforts to keep air travel safe.”

And that, as they say, is that.

Russell is set to be honored by the Celtics with a statue unveiling on November 1.