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Pete Rozelle

Pro Football Hall of Fame

I can be patient, which I think is probably a very fortunate trait to have on a job as commissioner, where you have to get along with so many different constituencies: the owners, the press, the fans, the coaches. There are so many people involved in the strange nature that constitutes a sports league. I think that was very fortunate. I think that if you're high strung, and flare, you could have problems, and I was fortunate that I didn't. Also, I think that you have to spend a lot of time, and you have to think about things that lead to better the sport -- changes, innovations, progress -- and I always felt that very strongly. We were fortunate that some of the things we developed played a big part in the development of the league.
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Bill Russell

Cornerstone of the Boston Celtics' Dynasty

I'm the coach, okay, and so I'm talking to my guys before the fifth game. And I says, "We're going to beat these guys, and this is how we're going to do it." And we had a rookie on the team who's now a judge in Boston, because he had an ailment, he had to retire, but he told me a few years ago, he said, "You know, I was in the locker room when you said that. That's the most disciplined situation I've ever been in my life, because I had to discipline myself from falling out on the floor laughing, when you said we're going to beat these guys." He says, "They're going to kill us!" And he says, "We haven't got a chance!" And he sat there and watched the whole thing happen. And he says that's one of the wonders of his life, because I said it with complete confidence. And then I said, like I said earlier, "We don't have to win three games in a row. We've just got to win one." You see, after we won two of them, the pressure completely shifts. The pressure is on them. You're up three to one, and how do you lose three straight?
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Bill Russell

Cornerstone of the Boston Celtics' Dynasty

I had an agenda, and there was nothing that was going to get me away from that. And my agenda was to win every game, if possible. Nothing that anyone externally or internally could do to change that. And so, you're operating in a place where the only thing keeps you going is you know that you are right. Like my college coach -- who was incidentally a good man but we never got along. As a player and a coach it was oil and water. First game against Cal, their center had been pre-season All American, all that. The first five shots he took, I blocked. So they called time out. They had never seen anything like this, because there was nobody blocking shots before. When I started blocking shots I had never seen anybody block a shot. So they called time out. They go in their huddle. We go in our huddle. The first thing my coach says to me is, "You can't play defense that way." And I'm thinking, "Why would you say that?" He said, "This is the way I want you to play defense." And he showed me right there. He wanted me to half-man him, keep this at his back, and deny the passes to him. Well, I tried that. He had his little point guard, took one dribble to his right, dropped a bounce pass, he caught it, turned, I'm on his back, out of defense, he shoots the lay-up. He does that three times in a row, my coach never said anything. That was the way he wanted me to play. So I said -- mentally -- I said to myself, "No. Not going to happen." So I went back to playing the way I knew how to play. As a consequence, for three years we were in this big argument about that I was a lousy defensive player because the mantra -- if you want to call it that -- in those days was, "No good defensive player ever leaves his feet." I couldn't block shots without leaving my feet. So I was violating all the preconceived rules. When I think that it never occurred to them that this was an innovation -- I just give them the benefit of the doubt and say that they never expected an innovation to come out of the projects of West Oakland.
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Albie Sachs

Constitutional Court of South Africa

Albie Sachs: It was so tough being called an advocate, a lawyer, an attorney in an apartheid court, even with decent judges. The judges were white, the prosecution was white, the lawyers were white, the accused were frequently black. So it was really, as Mandela once said, "I should get equal justice, but I feel I'm a black man in a white man's court. I shouldn't feel that." Even outside of the obvious racism in many of the laws, there were racist assumptions in the court that were so taxing and enervating. The judge would say to an African woman twice my age, "And, Rosie, what did you see next?" He might say it in a very kindly voice. I couldn't call her Rosie. She was Mrs. Shabalala. But if I called her Mrs. Shabalala after the judge had called her Rosie, it's like I'm giving him a little punch, and that could be bad for my client. The judge and the prosecution would speak about "five Bantus," "five natives." These weren't natives, these were people. Five men, five men and women. But if I challenged the use of language, then it was like I was having a go at them and my client could suffer. So even in the very simple way you expressed yourself, you either compromised with derogatory or undignified terminology, or you became contestational on a peripheral issue that didn't deal with the guts of the matter and your client could suffer as a result. It cost so much psychological energy to find ways of avoiding that, neither the one or the other. You just say, "Uh huh," you know, to the witness, not using either term. The racism in that sense impregnated everything about the court from the beginning to the end.
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Albie Sachs

Constitutional Court of South Africa

But not long afterwards I, myself, was in a cell on my own. I remember walking around in this little concrete space. The door slammed. The echo that's slamming in my ear and so, this is what it's like, this moment you're dreaming of. You're in the freedom struggle, and you're going to be locked up, and will you be brave and what'll it be like? And I'm walking around, and I'm singing and I'm whistling, and I'm trying to keep up my courage. There's a mat on the floor, there's a little toilet in there with a wire thing that you can pull. And five minutes, ten minutes, I don't have a watch, 20 minutes. The time goes so slowly. It's just you, your toes, the wall, your toes, the wall, looking at what to do, no one to speak to, nothing to do, nothing to occupy yourself. It was far worse than I've ever imagined, far, far, far worse. I thought you just had to be brave. You bared your chest. Let the enemy come. Let them do their damnedest. And in a way, you're fighting your own loneliness, your own eagerness to have someone to talk to.
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Albie Sachs

Constitutional Court of South Africa

Albie Sachs: I would try to keep myself going by inventing games, and I would sing songs, a song beginning with "A," "Always." "Because," "Charmaine," "Daisy," go through the alphabet. It's quite an interesting collection of the hit tunes of October 1963. And my favorite was "Always." "I'll be living here always. Year after year, always. In this little cell, that I know so well, I'll be living swell, always, always." And I would sort of waltz around, singing to myself and be amused with the fact that this Irving Berlin song-- picked up by Noel Coward, who wrote comedies of upper middle class manners -- was keeping alive the spirit of this freedom fighter in Cape Town. "I'll be staying in always, keeping up my chin always. Not for but an hour, not for but a week, not for 90 days, but always." And then it'd be "Because," and "Charmaine," and so on. I would try to remember the states in the United States of America. I had two arms then, so I could count on ten fingers, but -- and I would begin with all the A's -- and I couldn't mark down. And I think I got up to about 47 once.
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Albie Sachs

Constitutional Court of South Africa

A day or so later -- somebody was smuggling in messages to me, in a thermos flask, in fact -- and there's a message to the effect that somebody else had been locked up, an architect, and had been through similar experiences, and his wife saw him and, and he was like a ghost. And he'd whispered to her what had happened to him, and she'd gone to court with that information and got an order restricting the security police from continuing the interrogation. And I wrote the second most important legal document I've written in my life, and I include working on the Constitution of South Africa. And a tiny piece of paper in the note that was smuggled out, saying what I've just explained to the camera now, in just a few words, that it could be used in evidence in his case. But the fact is, they didn't come back for me, so it did save me from further interrogation. And I'm sure the intention was to pile it on, pile it on, pile it on, break me down completely. So though I ended up not giving away any information of any value, I still feel something inside me was broken, some strand of dignity and self-possession, and I've never got over it, never got over it. There's some humiliations and pains you carry with you. You get on with your life, you manage, you do things, but you can't say, "It doesn't matter. It doesn't count." It counted. It was worse than being blown up, much worse then being blown up. The attack on my mind, my spirit, my dignity, much worse then the attack on my body which came many years later.
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Albie Sachs

Constitutional Court of South Africa

I had met Stephanie Kemp who'd been, as it turned out, in the same prison cells I'd been in, and I was asked by an attorney to defend her. She was being charged with sabotage. And I said, "Please, I can't. I identify so much." "Just go and speak to her, give her some courage. When it comes to the trial we'll get someone else." Well they did get someone else to be the senior lawyer. Meanwhile I've fallen in love with her. We didn't mention anything. We didn't touch. We just spoke about the case and a bit about her past and sense of betrayal. But we were in love across the table, and she was sentenced to some years imprisonment, released. She came out to warn me that they're coming for me again, that was my second detention. I still remember her saying, "And I was in that prison cell, and I got so angry with you because they all told me, 'Why can't you behave like advocate Sachs?' And that pompous stuff you wrote up above the cell door, 'I, Albert Louis Sachs, am detained here without trial under the 90-Day Law for standing for justice for all.' Couldn't you say it in less legal language?" And of course, even when I was writing that, I was careful not to say anything that could be used in evidence against me. I also wrote "Jail is for the birds" on top of the cell.
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