Monday, April 14, 2014

Rugby Champion Williams: Islam brings me happiness

For rugby's original wild child Sonny Bill Williams, meeting a Tunisian family who lived with their five children in a one-bedroom flat in the south of France proved pivotal to his conversion to Islam, according to a report carried by CNN news channel.
The New Zealander's unshakeable belief in the Almighty has proved to be the making of one of the island nation's most gifted -- and controversial -- sports stars. "I was real close with them, and I saw how happy and content they were. 
And to see how they lived their lives, it was just simple," Sonny Bill Williams, a prodigious rugby talent, professional boxer and tattooed poster boy, told CNN's Human to Hero series.  "One thing I've learned over my career is that simplicity is the key. On the field, off as well."
"I've become a true Muslim," added Williams. "It's giving me happiness. It's made me become content as a man, and helped me to grow. I've just got faith in it and it has definitely helped me become the man I am today." The Williams of today does not visibly bear the scars of the 15-year-old who was thrust into the unrelenting drinking culture of one of Australia's top rugby league clubs and shamed by national media after being caught in a compromising position with a model. 
A man who quit that scene, walking out on his contract to take up a lucrative offer to switch codes and join a French rugby union club – requiring a substantial compensation payout.  A man who rejected a reported record $5 million deal to stay with Toulon and returned to Aotearoa -- "the land of the long white cloud" -- to follow his dream of playing for the prestigious All Blacks, but found himself a fringe figure for 2011’s long-awaited World Cup triumph on home soil.  He's been battered in a boxing ring, criticized for landing another big-money deal in Japan, and is now back in the sport where he's most at home.