As the nation reflects on the life of Bill Russell, the legendary NBA star and human rights champion who died on Sunday, one social media user has resurfaced a powerful letter Russell’s daughter once wrote about her family’s troubling experience with racism.

In the letter she wrote for The New York Times in 1987, Karen Russell said her family came home from a three-day weekend one night to find their house robbed and vandalized.

“Our house was in a shambles, and ‘N***A’ was spray-painted on the walls. The burglars had poured beer on the pool table and ripped up the felt,” Karen wrote in the article. “They had broken into my father’s trophy case and smashed most of the trophies. I was petrified and shocked at the mess; everyone was very upset. The police came, and after a while, they left. It was then that my parents pulled pack their bedcovers to discover that the burglars had defecated in their bed.”

In the Times article, Karen shared that their family was often harassed when the Celtics were traveling for away games, too.

“Every time the Celtics went out on the road, vandals would come and tip over our garbage cans,” Karen wrote. “My father went to the police station to complain. The police told him that raccoons were responsible, so he asked where he could apply for a gun permit. The raccoons never came back.”

“We received threatening letters, and my parents notified the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” Karen added. “What I find most telling about this episode is that years later, after Congress had passed the Freedom of Information Act, my father requested his FBI file and found that he was repeatedly referred to therein as ‘an arrogant Negro who won’t sign autographs for white children.”’

The NBA star’s daughter continued to discuss her dad’s life as a notable figure, highlighting his personal preferences and interactions with fans.

“He would rather shake a person’s hand or look that person in the eye and say, ‘Pleased to meet you,'” Karen shared. “His attitude has provoked racist responses, and these have tended to obscure the very basic issue of the right to privacy. Any professional athlete, and certainly any Black professional athlete, is supposed to feel grateful to others for the fame he or she has achieved.”

As Blavity previously reported, Russell’s family announced his passing in a statement on Sunday, describing him as “the most prolific winner in American sports history.”

The Hall-of-Famer won 11 championships with the Boston Celtics, the most titles an NBA player has ever won. He is also credited for revolutionizing the game with his shot-blocking ability.

The civil rights hero constantly spoke out against racism while playing in the NBA in the 1960s and inspired other Black athletes to fight for justice.