The perception of the city of Boston and how its residents have treated African Americans in the past and even now for the most part hasn’t been in the least bit favorable.
Former Celtics greats Cedric Maxwell, Satch Sanders and Red Auerbach’s daughter Randy joined sports journalist, Ron Thomas, for the “Being a Black Celtic” panel. The consensus among the panel was that racism in Boston was no different from any other place and several members had their worst experiences outside of Boston.
Here are some of the highlights:
“This is the city of champions. We didn’t care about color,” said Maxwell. He also shared stories about how Larry Bird was a Brother in Arms and how Kevin Garnett and Bill Russell both shared the same sentiment about being received in Boston which was they really didn’t care what people thought of them.
Satch Sanders spoke on the difficulties it was for him trying to find a place to live downtown and the dreams the players had to make some good money. “I only wanted to make $20,000,” said Sanders. “We used to all sit around and think if we could only make $20,000 we’d have it made.”
Randy Auerbach made sure everyone knew her father’s approach to running the Celtics. “He wanted to win it was no hidden agendas. Loyalty was number one. There’s no loyalty now.”
“He hated injustice. [Racial incidents] left him with a very heavy heart.”
Last but not least Ron Thomas gave the black journalists’ view of those times and was excited to make his first trip to Fenway because in the 60’s and 70’s they didn’t feel they were welcomed there.