Friday, June 3, 2016


Muhammad Ali passed away today.

What we should all remember is that Muhammad Ali wasn't the greatest simply because of his boxing skills. What elevated Ali above his contemporaries was his concern, and the actions he took, over world events and issues tied to civil rights in America. He opposed the Vietnam War, was arrested for refusing to be drafted, and on June 20, 1967 was convicted in Houston of draft evasion. Ali was stripped of his boxing title and had his boxing license suspended. 

By sacrificing his title in the name of a larger cause, Ali was also breathing life into one of his most famous quotes:

What people often forget is that Ali did not fight again for nearly four years after his conviction - during his prime boxing years - losing millions in the process. For his refusal to be drafted Muhammad Ali was both condemned and exalted in America. Ali said at the time:
Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 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? No, I'm not going 10,000 miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over. This is the day when such evils must come to an end. I have been warned that to take such a stand would cost me millions of dollars. But I have said it once and I will say it again. The real enemy of my people is here..... If I thought the war was going to bring freedom and equality to 22 million of my people, they wouldn't have to draft me, I'd join tomorrow. I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs. So I'll go to jail, so what? We've been in jail for 400 years.

- Mark

FYI, this is reworked from an earlier post on Ali.

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