Full-Court Fighter

NBA great Bill Russell never apologized for fighting racism. It cost him.

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Episode Notes

NBA star Bill Russell, the first Black American to coach a major-league sports team, died this week. His playing earned him 11 championships. His activism won him respect in the Black community, but the hatred of many white fans, and surveillance from the FBI during the civil rights era. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by sports journalist Howard Bryant to discuss Russell’s legacy, on and off the court.

Guest: Veteran sports journalist Howard Bryant

Podcast production by Eric Aaron

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About the Show

America doesn’t need another conversation about race. At least, not the kind we’ve been having … the ones that are sparked by a crisis and move quickly from shock to empty promises to forgetting. No. What America needs are REAL conversations about race—ones that shine a light on the facts, the history, and the reality of how race plays out in our politics and society. That’s what Slate offers each week on A Word … with Jason Johnson. A veteran political commentator, Johnson will bring his incisive wit to thoughtful discussions with leaders, journalists, and other change-makers who will tell the truth about America’s challenges around race and offer ideas on the way forward.

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