Bill Russell did not waste time apologizing for an incident at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Wednesday, when he was arrested for possessing a handgun while trying to go through airport security.
Through The Boston Globe, the 11-time NBA champion took full responsibility for the incident and called it a mistake.
“Before boarding my flight from Seattle to Boston, I had accidentally left a legal firearm in my bag,” Russell said in a statement. “I apologize and truly regret the mistake. I was issued a citation by the [Transportation Security Administration], whose agents couldn’t have been more thorough and professional when dealing with this. I really appreciate their efforts to keep air travel safe.”
Russell’s loaded .38-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun was confiscated from his carry-on bag and Russell was cited for having a weapon in a prohibited area, the Globe reports. Russell, 79, reportedly cooperated with TSA personnel and Port of Seattle police without incident.