Posted December 06, 2013 on AP on Fox
PLAYERS: Nelson Mandela
The first time he met Nelson Mandela, Gary Player got on his knees and kissed the former political prisoner's feet. Remembering his ''very tearful'' first encounter with Mandela, the nine-time major winner paused Friday to compose himself and hold back more tears. Mandela, the beloved former South African president and Nobel laureate, died Thursday at 95. Renowned as a fierce competitor on the golf course, Player was invited to meet Mandela at his office in Johannesburg after the anti-apartheid leader's release after 27 years in prison. But he didn't expect to do what he did, Player said. ''I knelt down and I kissed his feet and I said, `I have never kissed anybody's feet in my life,' and I said, `I have so much admiration for you.' I said to him, `It is remarkable, how can you not have revenge?''' Mandela's reply, according to Player, was: ''You have got to start a new life and forgive and go ahead.'' Player, speaking at the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City, said Mandela's ability to inspire with compassion left him amazed then - and still does. ''It was very tearful for me, because when you think of a man that has gone to jail for all those years for doing the right thing, not the wrong thing, it is hard to comprehend that a man can come out and be like that,'' Player said. ''He was an exceptional man.'' From that first meeting, Player and Mandela would cross paths regularly as the golfer, one of South Africa's greatest sportsmen, worked with the president on charity projects. Once, Player remembered with a big smile, Mandela landed at a charity tournament in a helicopter to lend support. ''I had to meet him when the helicopter arrived and open the door. Now I had been around him all these years raising money for young black children and I opened the door, and he says `Good morning Gary, do you remember me?''' Player recalled, imitating Mandela's unique rasping voice. ''Just wonderful.'' Although Player wasn't sure if he ever saw Mandela swing a golf club, he knew that the anti-apartheid leader ''realized the value of sport'' and even followed Player's career overseas while he was imprisoned by South Africa's former racist regime. ''He said to me, `When I was in jail, I used to watch you playing.' He was very complimentary,'' Player said.

Boxer Matlala dies, was a Mandela favorite

South African boxer Jacob ''Baby Jake'' Matlala, a four-time world champion at flyweight and junior flyweight and one of Nelson Mandela's favorite fighters, has died. He was 51. Matlala's death Saturday was announced by family spokesman Ray McCauley. Former WBO champion Matlala died two days after Mandela, one of the fighter's biggest fans. Mandela attended...

Tiger's a hero in sports world; Mandela was a hero to everyone

Sports has the power to change the world; to inspire, to unite people and to speak to the youth in a language they understand. -- Nelson Mandela In a time long ago, the late Earl Woods likened his precocious young son to not just Jack Nicklaus -- or indeed any sporting champion -- but to Buddha and Ghandi and Nelson Mandela. Perhaps because Tiger wasn't much of a carpenter...

Nelson Mandela used the power of sports to unite South Africa

Nelson Mandela  has passed away at the age of 95, after battling a lung infection. The revolutionary icon showed the world what strength and compassion are through personal sacrifice. Mandela was falsely jailed for 27 years on charges that he was trying to overthrow South Africa’s government. When in reality he was simply opposing the country’s apartheid system. While serving...

Detroit News Broadcast Confuses Nelson Mandela With A-Rod (Video)

Graphics guy probably won’t have a job tomorrow. I just pray this was an honest mistake and he didn’t do this on purpose. Only in Detroit. @awfulannouncing Yeah…that's not Nelson Mandela. — Jeremy Klumpp (@Klumpp13) December 6, 2013

Remembering Mandela and how sports influenced his legacy

  For me, Nelson Mandela is an iconic and heroic figure to whom I feel an indescribable and unusual closeness.  My personal champion.  Though he’s physically departed from the world, his contributions are transcendent and eternal.  His determination to achieve equality in the face of brutal inhumane obstacles, while remaining benevolent, exemplifies the radiance of life I...

TV station shows A-Rod photo while remembering Nelson Mandela (VIDEO)

Remembering Nelson "A-Rod" Mandela. What?!While many people across the world mourned the the death of Nelson Mandela — South Africa's anti-apartheid voice and former president — on Friday, one TV station is bowing its head in embarrassment.During a news broadcast, a local Detroit TV station, WDIV, made a serious gaffe — slapping Alex Rodriguez's face next...

RIP Nelson Mandela, A Great Ambassador for World Soccer

Yesterday, the World Soccer Talk team was assembled in Bristol CT as guests of ESPN. During pre-production for Thursday’s ESPN FC show previewing the World Cup Draw, an ESPN staffer shouted “Nelson Mandela died.” Suddenly everyone on the set led by host Dan Thomas began reminiscing about Mandela’s life and legacy. When the ESPN FC show opened at 5:30pm EST, the crew spent...

FIFA mourns Mandela, 'one of greatest humanists'

FIFA president Sepp Blatter says FIFA is in mourning after the death of Nelson Mandela. He released a statement saying the former South Africa president was ''probably one of the greatest humanists of our time.'' Blatter said he and Mandela ''shared an unwavering belief in the extraordinary power of football to unite people in peace and friendship.'...

FIFA Mourns”Greatest Humanist” Nelson Mandela

Former South African president Nelson Mandela and FIFA Boss Sepp Blatter FIFA President Sepp Blatter has described the late Nelson Mandela as one of the “greatest humanists of our time” after the former South African president passed away on Thursday. “It is in deep mourning that I pay my respects to an extraordinary person, probably one of the greatest humanists of our time...

Ghana legend Abedi Pele pays glowing tribute to Nelson Mandela

Abedi Pele with Nelson Mandela Ghana legend Abedi Pele has paid glowing tributes to former South Africa President Nelson Mandela who passed away on Thursday night. Mandela who had been battling a lung infection for the past three months passed on at age 95 at his home in Houghton in Johannesburg. Several world leaders and influential personalities have since been sending messages...

Janko Tipsarevic

R.I.P Nelson Mandela

Garcia takes lead at somber Sun City

With the skies over Sun City fittingly gray, Gary Player cried on a tee box and Ernie Els shared some of his memories of Nelson Mandela. ''It is going to be a tough day for the whole country,'' Els said. A somber mood hung over South Africa's first major sporting event since Mandela's death as Sergio Garcia, wearing a black ribbon like the rest of the 30...

Parreira: Mandela was ´a god´ to South Africans

Carlos Alberto Parreira has reflected on his experiences with Nelson Mandela during his time as South Africa head coach. Parreira […]


RIP Mr Nelson Mandela

World mourns death of great Yankee fan

At least we can take comfort in knowing that Nelson Mandela died with a smile on his face, knowing the Yankees had just signed Jacoby Ellsbury from the team he so reviled.
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