Tuesday, July 8, 2008

NO GOOD DEED GOES UNPUNISHED. The legendary coach of the Boston Celtics Red Auerbach was a civil rights pioneer who drafted the NBA's first African-American (Chuck Cooper in 1950), became the first NBA coach to start five black players in a game (in the 1963-64 season), and appointed the league's first black coach (Bill Russell in 1966).

His accomplishments angered a raving and racist extortionist, culminating in the man making an elaborate death threat in 1982 targeting Auerbach. Under the Freedom of Information and Privacy Act, Bob Hohler of The Boston Globe obtained from the FBI a copy of a letter outlining the threat. His chilling article about it and threats against other sports figures is here.

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