Those who know their Church history reasonably well know that Athanasius was the leading orthodox voice in the fight for officially recognising the Divinity of Jesus at the Council of Nicea (325 AD).
Athanasius was outspoken, bold, and instrumental in leading the rejection of Arianism, which denied Jesus’s eternal divinity (like JW’s do today). The Arians were like progressives, wanting to fit the doctrine of God to the philosophy of their day. Athanasius was orthodox, but radical, not conservative. He wanted to vigorously defend the truth.
What you may not know is that Athanasius was also constantly hounded for decades after Nicea by conservative bishops, who saw him as too strong and too vocal. They got him exiled on many occasions with trumped-up charges, even with the help of one Roman Emperor. These conservatives were even at times influenced by the progressive Arians. As we see today, conservatives often give in to progressive values, for various reasons.
It’s very rarely the conservatives who achieve anything. It’s the outspoken radicals who get stuff done. It’s they whom we remember. The conservatives value, above all else, the boat not being rocked. The radicals are willing to fight for the truth, even if it gets them exiled. Radically orthodox is where it’s at.
Athanasius truly was a great man.