George Floyd's murder at the hands of a Minnesota police officer has sparked worldwide protests and has brought the subject of athletes kneeling during the national anthem back to the forefront.
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started a movement in 2016 by kneeling during the anthem to raise awareness of racism and police brutality. With Floyd's death leading to "Black Lives Matter" protests worldwide, some wonder whether some players will take a knee when sports return.
After New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees called kneeling "disrespectful to the American flag" and subsequently apologized for his comments, President Donald Trump answered by condemning kneeling during the anthem.
That's when Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell, who has long been involved in civil rights activism, decided to take action by answering Trump's message with a tweet of his own.
Read Russell's tweet below:
#Trump you projected your narrative that #TakingAKnee is disrespectful & #UnAmerican it was never about that! You are divisive & a coward. It takes true courage 2 stand 4 what is right & risk your life in the midst of a #pandemic #Proud2kneel #BlackLivesMatter @MSNBC @BostonGlobe https://t.co/nhNITHSrxo pic.twitter.com/h0PuUYVFwu
— TheBillRussell (@RealBillRussell) June 7, 2020
Russell, 86, has actively spoken out against racism throughout his lifetime and today's protests have been a reminder of the racial abuse he has endured. On Thursday, he compared today's protests to those that occurred earlier in his life, saying "nothing had changed, and we will see some change but likely not enough."
Years after Russell was involved in the civil rights movement, several Celtics players have followed in the 11-time NBA champion's footsteps. Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, Enes Kanter, and Vincent Poirier each recently attended "Black Lives Matter" protests to speak out against the racial injustices that remain prevalent in the country.
Celtics legend Bill Russell responds to Donald Trump's 'kneeling' remarks originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston