"Daddy and Bill shared a lot!": Bill Russell's daughter honors Bill Walton's larger-than-life legacy with forgotten Bill Russell & Muhammad Ali photos

Bill Russell
Bill Russell's daughter shares images of her father with Muhammad Ali to honor Bill Walton's legacy (Image source: Instagram accounts of Bill Russell and Muhammad Ali)

Following the death of Bill Walton on Monday, Bill Russell's daughter Karen Thee shared timeless images of her father alongside boxing legend Muhammad Ali. The post was in response to The Independent's Eric Michael Garcia's post about Walton's social movements during the Vietnam War. Alongside the Celtics legend and Ali, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was also present in the picture.

The image showed a young Bill Walton making an appearance at UCLA in protest of the Vietnam War. Garcia also reported that Walton made his presence known to former United States President Richard Nixon.

Additionally, the uploaded images by Bill Russell's daughter took place during The Cleveland Summit, as per Andscape's Jonathan Eig. It was held by several prominent Black athletes who wanted to show their support for Ali. Aside from his heavyweight title being taken away from him, the iconic boxer was also charged with "draft dodging" of the Vietnam War.

"Daddy and Bill shared a lot! Including politics."

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When it came to using one's voice or platform regarding political and social issues, Bill Russell's daughter found an important similarity between her father and the Portland Trail Blazers legend.

Besides making a name for themselves in the basketball world, they were more than just athletes.They were individuals who fought for something more off the court.


Bill Russell talked about the time he showed his support for Muhammad Ali

In June 1967, Muhammad Ali was in the limelight for his decision to not be drafted for the Vietnam War. It was a time when the United States were in a pivotal conflict that required several individuals to serve during the war.

Following Ali's decision, his draft evasion charges resulted in strong support from the likes of Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, etc. Russell's support came from a place of "friendship," as per Forbes.

"We gave our friendship to Muhammad Ali," Russell said. "I know we wanted to find out from him, you know you read the papers, you see on the television all these kinds of things what is going on."

At the time, Ali chose not to partake in the draft due to his strong stance on how the United States treated his community. Back then, the Black Civil Rights movement was still an ongoing fight and Ali was a strong figure and was a part of leading the charge.

Ali managed to stay out of prison even after being convicted. He chose to remain headstrong with his beliefs that transcended beyond the scope of his boxing profession. It was a trait similar to individuals such as Bill Russell.

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