All Hail King Weah

By George Yuoh

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

July 16, 2004

It is a common saying that a prophet is never recognized in his own home. There is nothing so true about this than the relationship between George Weah and his beloved country, Liberia. While the rest of the world falls at his feet every time he moves a step, he is often treated at arm's length in his hometown, Liberia. King George, as he is affectionately called, has once again been lauded for his immense contribution to humanity, this time, by the United States based sports television network, ESPN. George Weah was awarded the prestigious and coveted ESPY-Arthur Ashe Courage Award for his immeasurable dedication to rebuilding the shattered lives of children in his country as well as the lives of kids form other parts of the world.

The Arthur Ashe Courage Award was named in honor of the late US tennis star who died of Aids-related pneumonia in 1993 at the age of 49. Arthur Ashe was the first black male tennis superstar to win a grand slam title. He won the US Open in 1968, the Australian Open in 1970, and tennis world cup, Wimbledon in 1975. The Arthur Ashe Courage Award is part of the annual ESPY accolades, and it is presented to a sport superstar who life's work transcends the corridors of sports. This year's star-studded event hosted by the comedian, Jamie Foxx, will air on ESPN on Sunday, July 18, 2004 at 9PM (ET). Other stars that received award included David Beckham (Best Soccer Star), Kevin Garnett (Best NBA Star), Serena Williams (Best Female Tennis Star), Payton Manning (Best NFL Star), Barry Bond (Best MLB Star), among others.

The award to George Weah was presented by the incomparable and award winning movie superstar, Denzel Washington. During his tribute to King George, Denzel underscored the soccer greatness of Weah and highlighted the former World Best Soccer Star's many humanitarian contributions to a country torn apart by a meaningless conflict. During Denzel's emotional and heart warming tribute, a short chronicled documentary on the Liberian nightmare was shown to a silent and keen audience, who later showed great appreciation for the efforts of a living legend. This ESPY award ceremony is a must see for every Liberian (July 18, 2004 at 9PM ET on ESPN).

Once again, by his personal accomplishments, George Weah has shown to the rest of the World, the compassion, integrity and determination of Liberians to forge ahead and rise again, in spite of the heinous efforts of murderers and other greedy individuals who want to see Liberia go down the drain. Weah achievements and the documentary though contrasting, showed that in the midst of killers and iniquitous men who used kids to do their slaughtering, there are also many decent people who at personal and
emotional expense would step up to the cause of humanity. No one has articulated the conditions and cries of the Liberian people so vividly as done by George Weah through this award. He is truly a champion and his fight for the future of the children of Liberia is uncommon. His love for his country is unchallengeable, and his kindness towards his fellow man, enviable. He is Liberia's shinning star, and he continues to make me proud to be a Liberian. The greatness of George Weah is the best thing to happen to Liberia for the past 100 years, and who knows for how long.

Congratulations King George! You continue to write a fine chapter in the dark history of Liberia, and those of us who know the value of your contribution to Liberia, and the effect it has on every well-meaning Liberian, applaud you and encourage you to continue to follow the kindness of your heart. Liberia may not be able to repay you, but surely others will. All hail King Weah!