Many people will remember Muhammad Ali, who died today (June 4), as the greatest boxer who ever lived, but This Writer would hope that people will remember his civil rights activism as well.
No matter how successful he became, he never forgot his roots as a member of a race that was subjected to widespread ill-treatment in his home country, the USA. And he fought the inequality he saw.
That’s why he refused to be drafted into the Vietnam War in 1967 – and was prepared to pay the price for it. He did not appear in a boxing match for four years afterwards, but that was a price he was willing to pay. Here’s what he said at the time:
If a few more people had acted with that kind of integrity in the years since, then our world would not be in the mess it is today.
Think about that, next time you have a choice between doing the right thing and doing the easy thing.
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