Many world famous names have been commenting on the tragic death of the man who changed South Africa for the better, an inspiring and influential man, Nelson Mandela. As you probably already know, Nelson Mandela has gone down in history for changing South Africa by tackling the institutionalised racism, poverty and inequality that was present in his country. To cut a long story short, he served 27 years in prison before he was made free in 1990 and became the first South African black president in 1994; he abolished racism, made the country equal and broke apartheid.
This weekend at all of the Premier League football matches in the United Kingdom, there will be a minute’s applause for the man who single-handedly changed the world and put a stop to racism in his country. The Aviva Premiership Rugby Union side, the Saracens will have all of their players wearing black armbands for their Heineken Cup rugby match at Italian side Zebre as a tribute to Nelson Mandela.
South Africa’s former president Nelson Mandela commented on sport years ago, “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire, it has the power to unite people, in a way that little else does.” Before he came into politics, South Africa were banned from partaking in any sporting event, including the Olympics and World Cups; Mandela changed this. When South Africa won the 1995 Rugby World Cup, it made the countries two races come together in an unimaginable way. Mandela used sport to unite South Africans when he was president.
Legendary boxer Muhammad Ali commented about Nelson Mandela’s passing, “His was a life filled with purpose and hope – hope for himself, his country and the world. He made us realise we are our brother’s keeper and that our brothers come in all colours.” The head of FIFA, Sepp Blatter called him “one of the greatest humanists of our time,” whilst Pele admitted he was “one of the most influential people in my life. He was my hero, my friend.” Other sporting icons to pay tribute to Mandela, who sadly passed away on Thursday 5th December 2013, was David Beckham, Tiger Woods, Sir Bobby Charlton and many more.
Author Daniel Foster.
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