NO PLAIN BILL
In tune with the times of the country, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED allows Bill Russell to speak his mind (Success Is a Journey, June 8). And Bill Russell does a lot of speaking out: protesting and attacking the Establishment. Many are doing just that today. Unlike others though, he does more than just shout that something is wrong. He offers some excellent solutions to problems.
JERRY THOMAS GATES
Bill's suggestion that all winners of athletic scholarships be guaranteed a complete education is an excellent one.
Albert Lea, Minn.
Bill blows a couple of big chances where he's guilty of the sins he likes least (tell us, Bill, who is Bailey Howell?).
I know why Bill Russell retired from basketball: because he has more to share with the world than just his basketball skills.
In rebuttal to those who will call Bill Russell ungrateful to basketball and the sporting Establishment for all they've given him, he's given them much more.
MARTIN B. ERDHFIM
Bill Russell's article was the best I have read on the philosophy and purpose of sports.
THOMAS D. LANCASTER
Lake Dallas, Texas
Few of us have the stature or opportunity to make a real and worthwhile contribution to our society. It is a genuine tragedy when someone like Russell, who has the opportunity, fails because of prejudice. There is no question our society has growing pains, but the great majority of Americans want wrongs made right every bit as much as Bill Russell, and this group includes the majority of the coaches and the majority of the police. Because I am a white cop, obviously I wouldn't be welcome at Bill Russell's home. But he will always be welcome at mine. If we could just have a little faith in each other, the ills in our society could be remedied so much more quickly.
Bill Russell is not only a credit to the field of sport but a real credit to the Human Race. We need many more like him.
C. R. WYNEGAR
The strength of this article lies in its subtlety and perspective, for it is not given to fist-pounding vindictives. The insight of the author serves to strip away the falsities which pervade the American sporting mind. Although SI deserves commendation for publishing this piece, true credit can rest only with the author.
THEODORE G. FAY
I realize that the definition of the term "the real McCoy" mentioned in your article on Kid McCoy (The Real McCoy, June I) was taken from The Random House Dictionary. But isn't it true that the term refers to a black inventor of the late 1800s and early 1900s named Elijah McCoy?