Boston Celtics legend Bob Cousy to receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

Boston Celtics legend Bob Cousy to receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

For the second time in just eight years, the Celtics will have one of their greats recognized at the highest level.

Dan Shaughnessy reported Monday morning that Boston legend Bob Cousy will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the country’s highest civilian honor that recognizes those who have made “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

President Donald Trump called back in December to give Cousy the news, telling him that he should have received the honor long ago. Cousy, who will turn 91 in August, was honored, but joked that he would not receive the award posthumously, so the two agreed that the event would take place in April. However, when Tiger Woods received the same award back in April after winning the Masters, that bumped Cousy’s date back, and it has yet to be set.

Cousy will join his former teammate Bill Russell, who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011. This will make the Celtics the second professional sports team to have two recipients, joining the Yankees (Babe Ruth and Yogi Berra).

“I don’t deserve the damn thing,” Cousy said, “but I’ll let someone else decide that. I’m not going to give it back.”

Cousy made an impact in a number of ways, both on and off the court. He helped Boston win its first six NBA championships in 1957, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962 and 1963, was a 13-time All Star, and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1971.

Off the court, Cousy had a number of contributions in the game of basketball as well as in the realm of civil rights and social justice. He helped form the NBA Players Association in 1954, which was the first union in any of the four major North American sports, serving as its first president in 1958. Cousy also stood up for his teammates of color during a time when such actions were not widely accepted.

Other recipients of the honor so far this year include Woods, Jerry West, and Roger Penske.



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Source: GreenStreet Blog

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