Nicklaus given Sports Illustrated's Ali Award


Jack Nicklaus and Muhammad Ali at the 1996 PGA Championship at Valhalla. (Getty Images)

Sports Illustrated announced Tuesday that 18-time major winner Jack Nicklaus will receive its Muhammad Ali Legacy Award, given to individuals "who embody the ideals of sportsmanship, leadership and philanthropy."

Nicklaus is the third recipient of the award, re-named this year in honor of Ali. He joins Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who recieved the inaugural award in 2008, and pro baketball Hall of Famer Magic Johnson, who was recoginzed in 2014.

“Jack’s passion for excellence on the golf course is only surpassed by his love and passion for children and their well being,” Ali said. “For decades, he has used his celebrity to bring awareness and support for children’s health. I can not think of a more deserving person for this special award than the Golden Bear himself.”

Nicklaus will recieve the award at SI's annual Sportsman of the Year ceremony on Dec. 15 in New York City. He was equally complimentary of the Olympic gold medal winner and former heavyweight champion of the world.

“There are very few in the sporting world who are more synonymous with the word ‘legacy’ than Muhammad Ali, so to have his name attached to the prestigious Legacy Award is so fitting,” Nicklaus said. “This is a marvelous way to honor his contributions past and present, and to ensure that generations going forward will have the opportunity to learn, respect and admire all Muhammad Ali has done for the sporting world.”