Beloved author and poet Maya Angelou has bowed out of plans to attend a baseball event in Houston, Texas this week (30May14) due to ill health.
The writer, 86, was scheduled to be honoured by officials at the Major League Baseball organisation at its Mlb Beacon Awards Luncheon on Friday (30May14), alongside Motown Records mogul Berry Gordy and American football great Jim Brown, but she has had to scrap her attendance.
Mlb bosses cited "health reasons" for her decision to skip the ceremony, which will take place before the annual Civil Rights Game between the Houston Astros and the Baltimore Orioles, but they have not disclosed any further details about her condition.
The event's keynote speaker, U.S. broadcaster Robin Roberts, will accept the prize on Angelou's behalf.
A statement issued by the writer reads: "It is with deep regret that I am unable to attend the Mlb Beacon Awards Luncheon.
"I am aware that the Civil Rights Game is Major League Baseball's opportunity to encourage and lead its fans and friends in honoring and remembering a critical time in our nation's history, and I respect the league greatly for recognizing the need for this event.
"I am very proud to be one of the Mlb Beacon Award honorees, amongst an impressive list of figures that were, and still are, part of the civil rights movement."
The cancellation news comes weeks after Angelou scrapped an appearance at another event in Fayetteville, Arkansas last month (Apr14), because she was recovering from an "unexpected ailment" which led to a brief hospital stay.