MNT Dec 1, 2010
Academy-award winning actor Morgan Freeman joined the USA Bid Committee as the lead-off presenter on Wednesday, Dec. 1, in Zurich. Freeman joined President Bill Clinton, U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder Landon Donovan and USA Bid Committee Chairman and U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati in presenting the U.S. bid. Earlier today, ussoccer.com caught up with Freeman, a true Hollywood star with an iconic voice and a long list of fantastic films. Here is a partial transcription of the interview. We'll have a few sound bites coming up on Studio 90 as well.
ussoccer.com: What inspired you to be a part of this bid process for the U.S.?
Morgan Freeman: “I got a call out of the blue from Henry Kissinger and he asked me to be a member of the committee and I said I’d be happy to. And as a result of that, I’ve gotten much more involved in soccer. I was in South Africa for the final game of the World Cup there and wow it’s major. Somewhere in my presentation, I mention the fact that the game is an elegant game and I think that really sums up soccer. It is probably one of the more elegant games that is played by more than one person.”
ussoccer.com: In researching your role for Invictus, you delved deep into international sport. Did you come away more of a fan of the power of international sports?
MF: “I think I’ve always been a fan of the power of international sports because I’ve always been a fan of the Olympic Games, and it’s one and the same. You see then how extraordinary it is and it’s all young people who are interested in what they’re doing. They’re not interested in the politics of the elders who are controlling their countries, and I think that is the elegance of sports, that it’s mostly young people who are pretty much dedicated to what they’re doing, to their game, and that’s how it gets spread. I think that one of the reasons Mandela said what he said about it changing the world. In a learning process, we don’t listen to our elders, we watch what they do. And in sports, watching what kids do, that’s where you learn.”
ussoccer.com: You were in South Africa for the World Cup final game. What have you seen about how soccer that can inspire people around the world?
MF: “It’s such an exciting game and again I’ll use that word elegant because really top notch soccer players are better than ballet dancers to me. The foot work and the ball control is probably better than basketball players because they don’t use their hands, just head, body and feet. I think it’s the elegance.”
ussoccer.com: What do you hope the World Cup coming to the United States can do for the young people in the United States?
MF: “It’s sort of the legitimizing effect that it would have on them. Are we part of the world of soccer in the U.S.? I think it might be that in a lot of the small towns and places where soccer is getting to be a major attraction that we don’t think of ourselves as belonging to the world of soccer and this would put that to rest if we could get the games in the U.S.”