Remembering Nelson Mandela: “Sport has the power to change the world”

Picture© Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe

When activist and leader Nelson Mandela was released from 27 years of imprisonment, one of the first people he asked to meet was Arthur Ashe. One ideal they undoubtedly shared was a belief in the transformative power of sport. This New York Times article commemorates the amazing and awe inspiring life of South African President Mandela and emphasizes how important sport was for him personally and in shaping the social and political developments in South Africa. Arthur Ashe, a founder of Artists and Athletes Against Apartheid, clearly understood the power of sport to effect change–not only in South Africa but around the world and used his position in the world of sport accordingly.
Jeré Longman: Mandela Embraced the Power of Sports for Resistance and Unity

1 reply
  1. Glenn Cleland
    Glenn Cleland says:

    As I was reflecting on the lessons from the late Nelson Mandela I was pleasantly surprised that Arthur was one of the first people Nelson wanted to see after his freedom from prison. As I read up on Arthurs initative outside of tennis, I am in awe. I have been associated with the sport of tennis all my life and I have never known of anyone quite like Arthur. In an era of ego maniacs (aka connors, mcenroe) Ashe was a breath of fresh air. My mixed doubles partner played with him once and marveled at what a gentleman he was to her. Maybe I don’t have to look for a new role model when he was in front of me all the time.


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