Cedric Maxwell: Growing up with racism in the south; proud of current Celtics

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Justin Leger
·2 min read
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Maxwell: Growing up with racism in the south and his journey to Boston originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Cedric Maxwell is a beloved figure in Boston Celtics history, but during his lifetime the two-time NBA champion has experienced hatred and vitriol all because of his skin color.

As part of Black History Month, Maxwell opened up to NBC Sports Boston about the racism he endured growing up including an incident involving him and his family on a vacation.

"I remember being young and there being two separate bathrooms, separate movie theaters, there were water fountains which were colored and one was White. There were just moments I remember that will always stay in my mind," Maxwell said.

"We used to take a family vacation every year. We'd go from Kinston, North Carolina to Quitman, Georgia. We had to get some gas, it's myself and my brother who went to the bathroom, and my mother was coming after us and the guy said, 'No, you can't use that bathroom.' And she's like, 'What?' The guy said, 'No, your bathroom is out in the grease pits, out in the garage. So my father was livid, and he had got wounded in Vietnam, and he was like, 'What are you trying to tell me? I almost died for this damn country, got shot in Vietnam, and I can't even come back and use the bathroom?'

"In the same trip essentially, we went through Myrtle Beach. Myrtle Beach had a beach called Atlantic Beach which was for just Black people. They had a chain-linked fence that went from the top of the beach probably almost half a football field out in the water so Blacks couldn't get into White water." 

Maxwell also spoke about his experience arriving in Boston as a Black man in 1977, and how proud he is of young Celtics Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Marcus Smart for their activism.

Hear everything Max had to say in the video above.