To the editor:
Watching Canadians from all walks of life celebrate the Toronto Raptors victory reminded me of how Nelson Mandela used sport to heal a nation racially divided by apartheid. South Africa hosted the 1995 Rugby World Cup and when the local Springboks made an improbable run into the final match and beat the heavily favoured New Zealand team, celebrations in the streets brought the whole country together. Rugby had united the nation and spoke to the start of reconciliation that many in South Africa did not believe could happen.
To quote President Mandela’s words: “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. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than government in breaking down racial barriers.”
We certainly can learn from sports such as basketball to put skin colour differences aside and look at each other as fellow human beings with potential and deserving equal opportunity, respect and fair treatment in our multicultural society.
Multicultural Youth Centre, Thunder Bay