Few athletes have demonstrated more courage in taking social stands than Bill Russell, and the Celtics legend will be honored appropriately at the ESPY Awards this summer. ESPN announced Thursday the 11-time NBA champion will receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, which is given to socially courageous athletes in the name of tennis great Arthur Ashe, who died from AIDS in 1993.
He was also the most dominant player of his time, winning five MVP awards and getting named to 12 All-Star teams. Barack Obama awarded Russell with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011.
Recent Arthur Ashe recepients include the survivors of Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse and Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder of the Special Olympics. The ESPYs will air July 10.