The world of sports has a unique way of bringing people together. Most times it’s mainly the passion for the game, support for a hometown team, or witnessing the greats play. But lingering behind all the glorious moments are the times where the true meaning of sports appears, these are the ones filled with respect, love, and sportsmanship. Join us as we jot down our list of the greatest moments of respect from the world of sports.
During the 1980s, the NBA saw the close friendship between Isaiah “Zeke” Thomas and Irving “Magic” Johnson fall apart. Both Hall-of-Famers were extremely tight as they were competitive, having dueled against each other in the biggest basketball stage.
However, a mixture of bad blood and rumors between the two guards caused their friendship to turn into a longtime feud. Finally, after years of dodging one another, Magic and Isiah rebuilt their bridge on national television, putting smiles on fans’ faces and drawing tears from every true hoop fan around the world.
“You are my brother. Let me apologize to you if I hurt you. That we haven’t been together. God is good for bringing us back together,” Johnson told Thomas.
ZLATAN FOR THE WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME
In early 2015, Parist St Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic took of his jersey after scoring the opening goal against Caen. His gesture revealed brand new tattoo designs situated across his chest, leading to a yellow card and a fine booked by league authorities.
Ibrahimovic would later on explain his gesture, saying that he had 50 new names temporarily tattooed on his chest – names of 50 people who suffer from starvation across the globe. “I want you to see them, to help the World Food Programme,” he says. His goal was to gain everyone’s attention to come together and help put an end to starvation.
DEREK REDMOND’S SUPERDAD
During the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, an inspiring story surfaced from the men’s 400m track event. Great Britain’s Derek Redmond was the favored runner and was expected to blow by to win the gold medal.
Full speed ahead, Redmond suddenly found himself limping in pain after tearing his hamstring midway through the race. But determined to cross the finish line, Redmond refused to receive medical attention and continued on with one leg. In the crowd was his father, who couldn’t stand to watch his son suffer.
And so, he pummeled his way through a large crowd and tight security to reach his son and together they crossed the finish line. To this day, the story of Derek Redmond and his father remains as one of the most inspiring Olympic moments of all time.
DAVID LUIZ MEETS LEONARDO
David Luiz of the Brazilian National Football Team was left stunned after meeting a then 17-year old Leonardo Marques Tome during one of their practice sessions. Tome suffers from arthrogryposis, a condition that affects a person’s bones and joints. But despite spending most of his days in a wheel chair, that didn’t stop the 17-year old from impressing Luiz with his juggling skills.
The two spent a fair amount of time on the pitch that day, sharing stories about their lives. Even better, Tome got the chance to meet the rest of the national team, including his idol, Neymar Jr!
THE BIG FUNDAMENTAL RETIRES
No one else was as loved in the NBA as Tim Duncan. His humble, outspoken, and gentle demeanor marked him as a special leader for the San Antonio Spurs. And on December 18th of 2016, the entire Spurs community gathered for his retirement ceremony and made sure their role model felt all the love he deserved.
The evening featured teammates from the past and present, mentors, and coaches – all of which helped shape Duncan’s successful career. Each gave a speech as a respectful tribute to the greatest power forward to ever put on a Spurs jersey.
However, tears would come when it was his longtime coach and friend Gregg Popovich to speak. “I’m thankful because you really allowed me to coach the team,” Popovich tells Duncan. “If you’re superstar can take a little hit now and then, everybody else can fall in line. He allowed me to coach.”