Re “Russell ceremony a thank you” (Sports, Oct. 19): “Bill Russell was a great man for what and who he stood for,” Celtics forward Jaylen Brown told the sellout crowd during a pregame tribute Tuesday night before the season opener. “He represented a type of nobility and honor that transcended sports.”
I have been a Celtics fan since I was 10, listening to Johnny Most go gaga over the slightest development in the Celtics’ quest to define and dominate professional basketball. The celebration of the late great Russell wasn’t just for his basketball guile and prowess but for what Brown highlighted. It was perfect for Brown to do that because in many ways he possesses the same social and political sensitivities as Russell.
We fans do the best we can in our humble lives by imbuing in our children and students a sense of the noble and honorable life, one that transcends wealth, prominence, and the distractions that make us feel smaller than we are. Brown is a refreshing presence in the sports world. He does not forsake his conscience and sense of justice. We confirm upon sports figures and other celebrities a power few of us have, but when someone who is larger than life invokes honor and nobility, they deserve the applause few of us get.