TORONTO - On the anniversary of Nelson Mandelas death, basketball Hall of Famer Magic Johnson says the late South African leaders message of peace could help heal the distrust and disconnect thats led to days of protests across the United States.The three-time NBA MVP and co-owner of baseballs Los Angeles Dodgers, Johnson was in Toronto on Friday to attend The Giant of Africa, an event honouring Mandelas legacy.The Mandela event, held before the Toronto Raptors played the Cleveland Cavaliers, was hosted by Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri, the first African-born GM of a North American team.Among those in attendance were former NBA stars Dikembe Mutombo, Charles Barkley and Tracy McGrady, Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan, Maple Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier, Amadou Fall, the NBAs vice-president of development in Africa, former Toronto Argonauts star Michael (Pinball) Clemons, and UN Goodwill Ambassador and 1999 Miss Universe winner Mpule Kwelagobe.Johnson said Mandela, a Nobel Peace Prize winner who became President of South Africa after spending 27 years in prison during the apartheid regime, was a master at bringing people together to facilitate change. The same approach, Johnson said, could help heal the racial tensions stoked by high-profile deaths in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York City that have led to rioting, looting and clashes between protesters and police.Its going to be important that these meetings take place and we can really bring about serious change because the distrust and the disconnect is huge, Johnson said. Make no mistake about it, its bigger than weve seen on TV.Blacks dont think that theyre ever going to get a fair shake, Johnson said. They think every time the police is coming its going to be trouble, so weve got to really make sure that we can bring about serious change on everybodys side.In a halftime TSN interview with Johnson, Barkley said a year after Mandelas death the same issues were going on.And I wish we had somebody in the United States who could say Listen, obviously some bad things are happening. Weve got to find a way to make this thing work. I just thought about that right now, how ironic were celebrating Nelson Mandela, who was in prison for 27 years. And when he got out of prison, the majority of the blacks over there wanted to retaliate against the whites. And he said No. Lets make this thing work together.Its ironic with all the crap that we have going on in the United States today, we dont have a leader in the United States that can do that.Said Johnson: Charles just said it. And its the truth. And until we come up with that person, or multiple people, we will have the same issues.The mistrust that we have with law enforcement, the mistrust that we have with government, we need somehow to have a leader bring us together, say OK ,this is what we need to do, Johnson added. And then on the other side, come together with whites and say OK this is what we all need to do to make it better for blacks and whites.Asked what he hoped the night might accomplish, Ujiri said I dont know…The world is not in a good place, in my opinion, and (Mandela) makes it better. I think hes going to be bigger, even though hes passed. He was bigger than life.Ujiri organized the event, from which funds raised went to both the Nelson Mandela Foundation and Ujiris Giants of Africa basketball program.Growing up I always remember watching the news with my dad and when the news would come on I just remember the images of fire, fire, fire in Soweto and all the fights on the streets. Id sit there and Id see my dads reactions and thats when I really started to learn about Nelson Mandela, Ujiri said. You study him as you grow up and you read and as I got older, it started meaning more to me what hes done, and the sacrifices he made. In 2006, when I met him, I think it completely changed everything.From then on, hes just somebody that I idolized.Mandela died last Dec. 5 after a long illness. He was 95.— With files from The Canadian Press Pat McAfee Jersey
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. Forsman closed with a 3-under 69 in windy conditions Sunday for his third Champions Tour title. He beat Jay Don Blake by two shots.BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Mary Wilson is taking over as the Buffalo Bills controlling owner after the death last week of her husband, Ralph Wilson. Ralph Wilson was the founder and only owner of the franchise. He died March 25 at the age of 95. The team says "A process will be established at an appropriate time for the sale of the franchise. " The Bills also announced that CEO Russ Brandon, general manager Doug Whaley and coach Doug Marrone will remain in charge of football operations under the new ownership. Ralph Wilson founded the Bills when the American Football League began play in 1960 and was a major factor in the merger of the AFL and NFL that was completed in 1970. He long expressed no desire to leave the team to his family, and this announcement is the first step in whats likely a lengthy path to new ownership. The team said in a statement: "This process will ensure that the club complies and is faaithful to NFL rules and to its obligations to New York State and Erie County.dddddddddddd We plan to have detailed discussions with the NFL, the state and county, and others as we determine the timing and structure of any sales process." A 20-member committee called the New Stadium Working Group recently met to discuss whether the Bills should build a new stadium, or whether Ralph Wilson Stadium should be renovated. The current stadium lease expires in 2022. The Bills are essentially locked into playing at Ralph Wilson Stadium through 2019 under terms of a 10-year lease agreement they reached with state and county governments in December 2012. The deal features a $400 million penalty the Bills would have to pay in the event a court ruled in favour of the team breaking the lease and relocating. In 2020, however, the Bills have a one-time opportunity to opt out of the lease for about $28 million. ' ' '