Defender of the Rights of African Americans

Topics: Malcolm X

Shows how easily a response can be provoked from him. This was something that other coaches and front office executives dreaded and tried to preach to similar athletes such as Jackie Robinson. With this in mind as well Bill Russell’s status as the best player in Boston for several years it makes it much more clear as to why Bill Russell was such an easy target for racists to harass or offend. This also contributed to his ideals for racial equality as Bill Russell found himself following and supporting Malcolm X more often than Martin Luther King Jr.

despite attending some of Martin Luther King Jr.’s events.

Bill Russell publicly endorsed both Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam. Bill Russell found himself starting to carry himself differently where he quit some of his own personal vices and started to act less friendly towards the public, and that included younger fans. Granted Russell didn’t go out of his way to be mean to any fans but he would refuse to sign autographs or take pictures for fans and this stemmed from his anger at being treated differently by what he considered a racist society.

This reaction isn’t one that is unheard of and is something that could be expected of a younger man who is told he doesn’t fit in society or that he is inferior to his peers.

As a matter of fact, it wouldn’t be difficult to imagine a young man from any of the races having this same reaction if they felt that society was mistreating them.

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In fact there are people who act like this currently in society today as you think of people like Colin Kaepernick who protests in a controversial way with controversial statements and one can see how people in the front office or people in charge of handling players might be holding their breath anytime a player is harassed on the basis of race or anything similar that the player cannot help.

How Bill Russell began to carry himself bothered citizens of Boston and perceived it as an openly hostile mood in the sense of he wouldn’t outright attack someone but Bill Russell did an excellent job at making it clear when he didn’t want to be bother or did not want to interact with fans.

His new attitude also hurt him as Bill Russell didn’t find himself winning over the hearts and minds of those who might have been neutral to the idea of racially integrating or those who originally may have been for racial integration of sports and with Bill Russell’s not so friendly treatment of them combined with his Bill Russell’s general dislike of the public since he viewed the northern states as racist and so many possible supporters of Bill Rusell were now left stunned and confused by Bill Russell’s actions. When looking at Bill Russell one needs to keep in mind that his stance was different than fellow athletes Jackie Robinson and Earl Lloyd and this turned out to present its own advantages and disadvantages.

When looking at both Jackie Robinson and Bill Russell it appears to this writer that a character similar to Jackie Robinson’s will normally work at both helping an athlete maintaining their job within a sports organization assuming that the athlete can still perform at a professional level physically, and it should help project that athlete’s race in a much better light as people see that athlete not fighting back or causing an issues which causes feelings of guilt to be built up and ultimately ends up forcing people’s hands.

Despite what many people think this is the path to getting what is desired from a party, and while he was talented Bill Russell wasn’t able to help win the hearts and minds by being an all around decent guy, but rather instead he acted like what he was at the time and that was an angry young man. When comparing athletes it is also worth mentioning that Earl Lloyd either handled things almost perfectly or Bill Russell really didn’t do himself any favors by acting like he had a chip on his shoulder. At first, it was always a question as to why Bill Russell isn’t mentioned in terms of being one of the first African American players and perhaps one of the first successful but given his reaction to others when being approached with racism, it is much more clear why he is more recognized for his basketball playing ability rather than his help in breaking down color barriers and leaving a lasting legacy of racially integrated sports.

When looking at sports and the famous athletes that play them, people often forget that there was once a time when these teams were segregated and didn’t allow African American leagues or that there were separate leagues for just African Americans to play in. It becomes clear that the proper way for an athlete to advance themselves and their race is by staying very humble and soft spoken while playing at a decent level. Reactions from athletes such as Bill Russell can also be taken and have their own rewards and consequences for taking those paths and when looking at those paths it isn’t surprising to see why these aren’t taken as much and when they are taken, the athlete isn’t remembered for helping to break down the racial barrier, but rather for being an excellent player whos playing style was decades ahead of its time and sees many players trying to perfect to this day.

To further support the idea that the nonviolent route might be the best and examining its success rate, step outside of the realm of sports. There are two very famous figures who are known as the main contributors of the civil rights movement, these figures are Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. One of these figures preached turning the other cheek and to always stay your hand and to stay strong during the times that you would find yourself harassed on the basis of race. The other person talked about African Americans taking up arms to defend themselves and carried themselves with a chip on their shoulder.

Without getting into details too heavily and without going over the life stories of these two figures, notice how Jackie Robinson followed Martin Luther King Jr’s stance and is incorrectly touted as the first African American professional baseball player in addition to his fantastic numbers. Bill Russell on the other hand followed the example set by Malcolm X and this led to many people seeing Bill Russell in a negative light up until his retirement and when racial integration started to become the norm for society. Another way to look at the situation and the stances and why one should be taken over the other: one of these figures has his own national holiday, while the other just is included in Black History Month.

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Defender of the Rights of African Americans. (2021, Dec 31). Retrieved from

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