Russell, a longtime civil rights activist, shared his grim outlook on the protests that erupted following the death of Floyd, who died last week while in the custody of Minneapolis police.
“My wife took me to see some of the protests,” Russell said in a tweet. “She said it was emotional & impactful & asked ‘Can U believe U would live through this again in your lifetime?’ I said Yes, nothing had changed & we will see some change but most likely not enough”
Russell was referencing a 1963 visit to Mississippi that he had made following the assassination of Medgar Evers, a civil rights activist and NAACP field secretary, according to Bleacher Report.
He shared a clipping of an article detailing his trip where he held the first-ever integrated basketball camp in the state.
“I’d rather die for something than live for nothing,” he said at the time. “I’m a man. If I have to be a boy to be popular, then I don’t want it … If my popularity depends on a thing like this, I don’t give a damn.”
Russell’s message then still holds true in the wake of Floyd’s death.
“This is a time of crisis and we’re closer to the crossroads.”