Another piece of bling for Bill Russell. And this one's a big deal:
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is a decoration bestowed by the President of the United States and is – along with the equivalent Congressional Gold Medal bestowed by an act of U.S. Congress – the highest civilian award in the U.S. It recognizes those individuals who have made "an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."
Here's the official statement from the White House:
Bill Russell is the former Boston Celtics’ Captain who almost single-handedly redefined the game of basketball. Russell led the Celtics to a virtually unparalleled string of eleven championships in thirteen years and was named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player five times. The first African American to coach in the NBA — indeed he was the first to coach a major sport at the professional level in the United States — Bill Russell is also an impassioned advocate of human rights. He marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and has been a consistent advocate of equality.
When's the state of Massachusetts going to honor this guy?
Sorry Mr. Zakim, but that bridge should have been named after the greatest Celtics player of all-time. Why is it that every nit-wit in the Kennedy clan gets a statue, but Russell goes without?
Hey Governor Patrick, take a break from raising taxes and do the right thing.