National Basketball Association legend Bill Russell sees little difference in the concerns gay athletes face now and what black ball players faced when sport leagues were integrated.
‘It seems to me, a lot of questions about gay athletes, were the same questions they used to ask about us,’ Russell said, as reported by the Associated Press.
Russell, who won 11 NBA championships with the Boston Celtics, made the observation this past Wednesday (9 March).
He participated in a panel discussion at the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library in Austin, Texas. The library was hosting a celebration of the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
President Johnson signed the law on 2 July, 1964.
Russell’s comments followed Derrick Gordon‘s announcement that he is gay. The sophomore starter for University of Massachusetts men’s basketball is the first out National Collegiate Athletic Association Division 1 basketball player.
The Hall of Famer noted his only concern about a gay teammate would have been about his skills as a player.