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Celtic legend Bill Russell apologizes for having loaded gun in Seattle airport

Less than two weeks before Celtic legend Bill Russell will have his statue unveiled in Boston, he apologized for carrying a loaded gun inside an airport.

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Less than two weeks before Celtic legend Bill Russell will have his statue unveiled in Boston, the NBA superstar apologized for carrying a loaded handgun inside an airport.

Russell, 79, who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011 for his human rights advocacy, was cited on Wednesday for having the loaded gun in a bag while in Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, according to Reuters.

The .38 caliber Smith & Wesson contained six rounds. It was confiscated and Russell was released.

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Russell won 11 NBA Championships and lives in the Seattle area.

He apologized for the incident in a statement, according to the Globe.

"Before boarding my flight from Seattle to Boston, I had accidentally left a legal firearm in my bag. I apologize and truly regret the mistake," he said. "I was issued a citation by the TSA, whose agents couldn't have been more thorough and professional when dealing with this. I really appreciate their efforts to keep air travel safe."

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.

 
 
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