Arthur Ashe, AIDS and that announcement that shocked the world: glory and drama of one of the greatest tennis players of all time

April 8, 2021 – 10:59 am

On April 8, 1992, the great US champion revealed that he contracted the disease with a transfusion: he died the following year. He was extraordinary on the pitch (3 Grand Slams) and an example off the pitch, with his commitment against apartheid

of Andrea Sereni

Arthur Ashe was an American tennis player, the first and only black player to win Wimbledon. A champion with a racket in hand (he has won three Grand Slam tournaments), an example off the pitch, in his battle against AIDS: “Please don’t consider me a victim,” he said ill by now. I am a messenger “. On April 8, 1992, 29 years ago, Ashe announces that he is suffering from AIDS, contracted following a banal blood transfusion, practiced to treat a cardiac dysfunction. The United States, 121 deaths from AIDS in 1981 and 100,000 in 1989, discovers that the plague of the twenty-first century can affect everyone, not just drug addicts or homosexuals. The discussion explodes. Ashe dies aged 49 on February 6, 1993, for complications related to the disease. But his imprint, not only on the Flushing Meadows plant that was named after him, is still clearly visible.

Arthir Ashe with the other finalist Tom Okker after winning the US Open in 1968 (Ansa)

Arthir Ashe with the other finalist Tom Okker after winning the US Open in 1968 (Ansa)

April 8, 2021 | 10:59


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