Bill Russell is a civil rights pioneer; he may have never kicked a soccer ball for all I know. However, an amazing member of the Basketballing Community can open the eyes of the Footballing Community to one of the real powers of sport. Sport has the ability to affect a community’s attitude toward race; racist attitudes/equality issues change through time both for the betterment and/or degradation of society. Sport icons, and even the lowly local “pick-up” player, living a life of conscious social justice work (thinking and action) will bring tangible change to community. We might not all have a statue erected in our honor, but we can manifest change in our community.
Below is an article written by Dave Zirin. The article is a wonderful story about how a man has seen a city change its tone. It is inspirational for anyone that sees sport as a means to change society, or at least changing attitudes about sportsmen as a reflection of how a society can/has chang(ed). A city, Boston, learned to embrace a player and at least change the worst attributes of their attitude toward him and maybe even race. SLAM ONLINE | » Boston Marathon.