“I wasn’t going to be a pawn,” began John McEnroe, refusing to play against Bjorn Borg in South Africa despite an offer of $1 million.

John McEnroe An idol and inspiration for many. In the 1970s and 1980s, he weaved magic on the court with his racket and had the world chase after him. He is still fondly remembered for his stubborn fighting spirit and ‘Never Give Up’ attitude. He won 77 singles titles during his career. This is the Grand Slam, ATP tournaments, etc. However, people at court still remember him for his firm stance against South Africa’s apartheid government in the 1980s.

The South African Government had invited him and his rival in 1980. Bjorn Borg To play an exhibition match in South Africa. The government was also willing to pay $1 million to the American legend. However, at that time he refused to play in South Africa as the land was in the hands of an apartheid regime.

“I remember feeling wrong and I remember thinking I was just getting into a booming sport and it was thanks to the people I idolized. So I thought to myself, ‘Yeah, that’s an incredible amount of money at the time but there’s a reason they offered me an incredible amount.’ They’re going to take advantage of me. “And they’re going to use that propaganda somehow. I mean, I wasn’t going to be a pawn in this whole thing. I’m proud of it, it wasn’t such a difficult decision. I’m 21 years old, I don’t need the money that much yet. I think it was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my career.” he said in a recent interview, remembering the incident years later.

Continuing his line of thought, he added: “A lot of people have come to me over the years and thanked me for not going to South Africa when I was given so many offers. At the time, a million dollars seemed at least 10 million or more to play a show against Bjorn. Then I am proud that I made this decision. If I did, I don’t think it would change the world one way or another, but I’m proud that I didn’t.”

With this move, John McEnroe managed to draw the world’s attention to the apartheid Government in South Africa, which discriminated against Blacks and other communities based on race, gender and color.

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John McEnroe remembers meeting with Nelson Mandela

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John McEnroe and Nelson Mandela

John McEnroe is considered one of the greatest players of all time. His rivalries with former tennis players like Bjorn Borg and Jimmy Connors are part of legendary tales. However, when 3 times Wimbledon Meeting the champion with former South African president Nelson Mandela changed his perspective on life.

“He said it was an honor to meet me. That’s what I had to say to him, but he’s telling me this. When he said to me, ‘I listened to your game, you and the Borg at Wimbledon,’ I realized he was listening to my game on the prison radio in Robben Island. ‘You’re such an idiot. I said, ‘You’re sitting there whining about everything.’ said.

John McEnroe has many stories to tell. He even talks about these with great happiness, commemorating his glorious career.

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