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NBA legend Bill Russell calls Trump a 'coward' for not acknowledging racial injustice

“You are divisive and a coward,” the former Celtics great said.
Bill Russell
Former Boston Celtic Bill Russell receives a standing ovation after being introduced prior to the Celtics' NBA basketball game against the Detroit Pistons in Boston on Feb. 15, 2012.Elise Amendola / AP file

Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell criticized President Donald Trump on Twitter for condemning athletes who kneeled during the national anthem.

The post comes after Trump denounced New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees for apologizing for initially saying that kneeling was “disrespectful to the American flag.” Brees later said “we must stop talking about the flag” and start talking about racial injustice and police brutality.

Trump said on Twitter Friday, “There are other things you can protest, but not our Great American Flag - NO KNEELING!”

Russell, 86, has actively spoken out against racism and long been vocal about civil rights activism — and Trump’s tweets were no exception.

“You are divisive & a coward,” Russell said on Sunday. “It takes true courage 2 stand 4 what is right & risk your life in the midst of a #pandemic.”

On Thursday, Russell, an 11-time NBA champion and Hall of Famer who is considered one of the best NBA centers ever, compared the Black Lives Matter protests across the country to those he frequented during the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

“Nothing has changed, and we will see some change but likely not enough,” he said on Twitter.