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Video: Watch Bill Russell get the Medal of Freedom

President Obama Honors Medal Of Freedom Recipients

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 15: Former Boston Celtics captain Bill Russell (L) is presented with the 2010 Medal of Freedom by U.S. President Barack Obama during an East Room event at the White House February 15, 2011 in Washington, DC. Obama presented the medal, the highest honor awarded to civilians, to twelve pioneers in sports, labor, politics and arts. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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Celtics legend Bill Russell was given Medal of Freedom today at the White House by President Barack Obama.

Here is what Obama had to say about Russell:

“Bill Russell, the man, is someone who stood up for the rights and dignity of all men. He marched with King; he stood by Ali. When a restaurant refused to serve the black Celtics, he refused to play in the scheduled game. He endured insults and vandalism, but he kept on focusing on making the teammates who he loved better players, and made possible the success of so many who would follow. And I hope that one day, in the streets of Boston, children will look up at a statue built not only to Bill Russell the player, but Bill Russell the man.”

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