Chamberlain earned enemies in the African American community when he condemned the Black Power movement in the late 1960s. He never aligned himself with civil-rights leaders such as Jesse Jackson, and invoked considerable ire when he supported Richard Nixon's campaigns for the presidency in 1968 and 1972. Blacks and whites alike expressed antipathy toward Chamberlain's oft-stated preference for white women.
In the world of basketball, Chamberlain won many a detractor with his candid talk and his outspoken persona. In the mid-1960s, he caused a stir with a Sports Illustrated story in which he was quoted as criticizing various coaches and players provided his critics with plenty of ammunition. Yet for all his ability to spark controversy, Chamberlain could get the job done on the court, and the breathtaking scope of his accomplishments will stand long after the disagreements have been forgotten. Said Russell, speaking to USA Today at the time of Chamberlain's death (quoted in Jet), "I'm one
of the guys who think Wilt was so good that people don't even known how good he was. I remember sitting at home, getting ready to play him one night, and thinking, 'another night in hell.'"
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