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Celtics Legends Series: Russell first African American head coach

Posted by shawn cassidy on May 25, 2013 at 8:00 AM

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NBA Legend Bill Russell Became First Black Coach In Pro Sports 46 Years Ago Today


Surly Celtics Coach Red Auerbach, who also broke racial barriers in drafting the first Black NBA player in Chuck Cooper in 1950 and introducing an all-Black starting lineup in 1964, sought out other White players on his team to coach after his abrupt retirement before the 1966-67 season. After they refused, he asked Russell, who was still an active player, to coach the team. Russell accepted the position and signed the contract, saying to reporters in a famous quote, “”I wasn’t offered the job because I am a Negro, I was offered it because Red figured I could do it.”

Russell will always mean a lot to pro sports on and off the court. He's one of the most influential players of all-time with his play and with his opinions.

Categories: Celtics Legends Series

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1 Comment

Reply paul
06:35 PM on May 25, 2013 
I think Red knew that the others would refuse when he went to them.