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Muhammad Ali - in His Own Words


Offbeat  (tags: Entertainer, Sportsman, Boxing, In His Own Words )


- 1116 days ago - m.bbc.co.uk
Muhammad Ali entertained the world for more than half a century with his legendary one-liners, witticisms and diatribes.



   

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Comments

pam w (139)
Saturday June 4, 2016, 1:22 pm
I admired his courage and commitment!
 

Colleen L (3)
Saturday June 4, 2016, 4:59 pm
He was the best in his field. Been thru a lot too. May he rest in PEACE. Thanks Ray
 

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Sunday June 5, 2016, 2:18 am
I'll never forget how he refused to go fight in Vietnam, saying 'those Brown people' hadn't done him any harm - or ever called him 'nigger'- ["“Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go ten thousand miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights?"] - how true!- and he preferred going to prison & losing his championship rather than sell out on his convictions. "Sentenced to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine, though he remained out on bail while he appealed"; "stripped of his passport and his heavyweight title, banned from fighting in the US, Ali returned to boxing in 1970" but had lost his best years as a fighter, from the age of 25 to 29, even if "his conviction was reversed in 1971." A brave man, though so Young, only 25; a man of principle!

Nor will I ever forget that moment of intense emotion when he stepped out, at the culmination of the long build-up of individual athletes running & passing the Olympic torch on to the next runner, at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics opening ceremony, to the enormous surprise of all, to light the flame. How many of us found tears building up or running down our cheeks?

One 'Guardian' reporter has written in his article, "Fighter, joker, magician, religious disciple, preacher: Muhammad Ali", "He housed such an improbable quantity of warmth that it seemed the love he generated could sustain the planet." What a magnificent tribute.

If you haven't yet seen the documentary, "When We Were Kings", now's perhaps the perfect time! Can't find a full film online, but broken up into Part I, Part II, etc. I saw it some years back, and I found it moving & thrilling... and I was so impressed to see how Ali was adored by young fans -even children- in what was then Zaire. It made me love him even more!

(About "When We Were Kings": "It's 1974, Muhammed Ali is 32 and thought by many to be past his prime. George Forman is ten years younger and the Heavyweight champion of the world. Promoter Don King wants to make a name for himself and offers both fighters five million dollars apiece to fight one another, and when they accept, King has only to come up with the money. He finds a backer in Mobutu Sese Suko, the dictator of Zaire and the "Rumble in the Jungle" is set. A musical festival, featuring the America's top black performers, like James Brown and B.B. King, is also planned.")

I was particularly moved by this rather tragic insight of his into his 'sport,' into the world of boxing, that I read yesterday in The New Yorker article, "The Outsized Life of Muhammad Ali":

"“They stand around and say, ‘Good fight, boy: you’re a good boy; good goin’,” Ali said, in 1970. “They don’t look at fighters to have brains. They don’t look at fighters to be businessmen, or human, or intelligent. Fighters are just brutes that come to entertain the rich white people. Beat up on each other and break each other’s noses, and bleed, and show off like two little monkeys for the crowd, killing each other for the crowd. And half the crowd is white. We’re just like two slaves in that ring. The masters get two of us big old black slaves and let us fight it out while they bet: ‘My slave can whup your slave.’ That’s what I see when I see two black people fighting.” It was almost as if Ali, at the height of his fame, was hinting that we were all complicit in something fallen and dubious, even as we were rooting him on.
 
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