Say what you like about Muhammad Ali – he stood up for what he believed

Muhammad Ali: The greatest boxer of them all - and a great example to everybody.

Muhammad Ali: The greatest boxer of them all – and a great example to everybody.

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:

160604 Ali

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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7 thoughts on “Say what you like about Muhammad Ali – he stood up for what he believed

  1. Christine Cullen

    I’m not a boxing fan at all, but as a student at Bristol Univ. from 1965 I heard how Ali visited Bristol Bus Station while over here for a fight, to encourage the black bus drivers that the bus company was refusing to employ under their unofficial colour bar. He spoke truth to power and was a great support in the fight for the Race Relations Act of “65 that made discrimination illegal in the UK.
    I always admired him for that, and the fact that he made a point of visiting places like Brixton and Birmingham several times to encourage the communities there. He was a warrior for justice underneath all the showmanship and noise.

  2. joanna

    He will be missed globally, he was a shining example of how we all should fight for what is right no matter the cost.
    At least he is out of pain and may he rest in peace.
    He was in an episode of Touched by an angel, called “fighting the good fight” he had Parkinson’s disease quite bad that he couldn’t talk much, but he still looked great to me.

  3. casalealex

    Ali refused to be inducted into the armed forces, stating that he had “no quarrel with them Vietcong.”.
    ”My conscience won’t let me go shoot my brother, or some darker people, or some poor hungry people in the mud for big powerful America. And shoot them for what?
    They never called me nigger, they never lynched me, they didn’t put no dogs on me, they didn’t rob me of my nationality, rape or kill my mother and father….

    How can I shoot them poor people? Just take me to jail.”

    He was systematically denied a boxing license in every state and stripped of his passport.

    “Wars of nations are fought to change maps. But wars of poverty are fought to map change.” Muhammad Ali

    “I’m so fast that last night I turned off the light switch in my hotel room and was in bed before the room was dark.” Muhammad Ali

    RIP x

    1. Kenneth Billis

      “I’m so fast that last night I turned off the light switch in my hotel room and was in bed before the room was dark.” Muhammad Ali

      That’s a good one and another one from him was:

      “My only fault is i don’t realise how great I am”

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