Add another accolade to Bill Russell's laundry list of accomplishments.
The Boston Celtics legend announced Thursday he'll be the 2019 recipient of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award in July.
Just found out I will be receiving the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. Arthur was a man of great courage. Tune in July 10, this is a special honor! #ESPYsABC #ArthurAsheAward @NBA @espn @celtics @BleacherReport @SLAMonline @BostonGlobe @ESPYS pic.twitter.com/AybfEZOzAb — TheBillRussell (@RealBillRussell) May 30, 2019
Russell will be the first Boston athlete to accept the award, which is presented each year at the ESPYs to individuals who "possess strength in the face of adversity, courage in the face of peril and the willingness to stand up for their beliefs no matter what the cost."
Russell certainly fits that bill. The 11-time NBA champion was the league's first African-American superstar and blazed a trail as the league's first black coach with the Celtics in the 1960s.
Russell battled discrimination throughout his career in Boston and was an active participant in the American Civil Rights Movement. He was presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama in 2011 and used the medal in 2017 to support Colin Kaepernick's protest against social inequality and police brutality in America.
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The 85-year-old will follow survivors of the USA Gymnastics sex abuse scandal, who were presented the Arthur Ashe Award as a group in 2018.
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