"I can not think of a more deserving person for this special
inaugural award than the Golden Bear, himself."
By Time Inc.
NEW YORK, NY - Today Time Inc.'s Sports Illustrated announced that Jack Nicklaus has been chosen to receive the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award. The award was created in 2008 to honor athletes and sports figures that have embodied the ideals of sportsmanship, leadership and philanthropy as vehicles for changing the world over their lifetime. Earlier this year the award was renamed the Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award in tribute to the iconic boxer and humanitarian.
|Jack Nicklaus at Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony|
earlier this year.
"Jack’s passion for excellence on the golf course is only surpassed by his love and passion for children and their well being. For decades, he has used his celebrity to bring awareness and support for children’s health. I can not think of a more deserving person for this special inaugural award than the Golden Bear, himself."
Nicklaus, who this year became just the seventh athlete in history to be awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, is being honored for a lifetime of success and influence as one of the greatest golfers of all time. He is a record-setting champion of the sport who has also made philanthropy a central part of his legacy. He joins Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder and driving force behind the Special Olympics, and Earvin Magic Johnson, renowned entrepreneur, philanthropist and social and political activist, as Legacy Award honorees.
"There are very few in the sporting world who are more synonymous with the word ‘legacy’ than Muhammad Ali, so to have his name attached to the prestigious Legacy Award is so fitting," said Jack Nicklaus.
"He is not only known universally as the 'Champ,' but he has been a wonderful global ambassador for sports and our country. This is a marvelous way to honor his contributions past and present, and to ensure that generations going forward will have the opportunity to learn, respect and admire all Muhammad Ali has done for the sporting world. That is why to be the first recipient of the Ali Legacy Award is both humbling and an honor."
The award presentation will take place during SI’s annual Sportsman of the Year celebration on Tuesday, December 15, in New York City. During this evening SI will also recognize the 2015 Sportsman of the Year and SI Kids’ SportsKid of the Year along with other transcendent individuals from the 2015 year in sports.