Looking Back at Ashe’s Historic Visit to South Africa

Picture© AALC

Not so long ago in South Africa, harsh discrimination was used to rule and segregate the country. This was during Apartheid and that gloomy period sparked a socially conscious response from all corners of the world. It also lead to one of the greatest examples of sports activism just over 40 years ago

To expose the fallacies of Apartheid and serve as a beacon of hope, Arthur Ashe traveled to South Africa in 1973 to break the color barrier that existed there in tennis. He served as an example of genuine sportsmanship: compelling the stadium to be integrated when he competed, showing the subjugated populations that a black man could compete with the white man and using his popularity as a platform for awareness against the government’s discriminatory practices. 

Read more about his experience in Steve Tignor’s article “1973: Arthur Ashe breaks sporting color barrier in South Africa” on Tennis.com.


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