Blog by: Suryakant Tripathi
Arthur Ashe was the first black man to win the U.S. Open, Australian Open and Wimbledon. Civil rights leader and charity worker, he used his position as the number one player to promote justice.
In 1988 he discovered he had AIDS, having gotten the HIV virus from a blood transfusion during heart surgery in 1983.
One day, he received a letter from one of his fans who asked, “Why did God choose you for that cursed disease?”
Arthur replied, “There are 50 million kids who start playing tennis. Only 5 million learn to play tennis. Out of that, only 500,000 learn tennis professionally. Among them, 50,000 are ready to join the tournaments. Then there are 5000 tennis player who make it into the Grand Slam tournament. There are 50 tennis players who join the Wimbledon tournament. Then only 4 make it to the semi-finals. Then 2 make it to the final. When I held the trophy with my hands, I did not ask God, “why me.” Today when I am ill I will not ask God, “why me?”
“I could never forgive myself if I elected to live without humane purpose, without trying to help the poor and unfortunate, without recognizing that the purest joy in life comes with trying to help others.” – Arthur Ashe