Feb 16, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Boston Celtics former center Bill Russell in attendance during the 2013 NBA all star shooting stars competition at the Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Russell Speaks at the 50th Anniversary of ‘I Have a Dream Speech’


Today is the anniversary of a very important day in the history of the United States. It is the 50th anniversary of the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech given by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 50 years ago.

Today we live in a world where racism is still there, but isn’t prevalent. I had a chance to attend the summit at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC today and the atmosphere was electric. From the crowd of 100,000 to the performances to the speakers, it was an enormous moment in history.

From the time that Dr. King gave his speech 50 years ago until today, society has progressed significantly. 50 years ago today, Dr. King didn’t have the president speaking for him at the podium. Today, in his obvious absence, Dr. King had three presidents speaking in his name, among other people.

Among the guests that spoke today was the NBA’s greatest winner and former Boston Celtic, Bill Russell. Russell gave a very powerful speech–there’s one line that really sticks with me. Russell said “I was sitting in the first row 50 years ago. Its nice to be anywhere 50 years later.”

Even though Russell said that in a joking sense, I thought that it was powerful. For Russell to have experienced so much in his life is something that many people will never be able to do. He had the privilege of meeting Dr. King and speaking with him. Russell represents so much when it comes to American history. I’m proud to have him as a Boston Celtics.

You can watch Russell’s speech in its entirety in the video below:

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