As a child I watched Cassius Clay boxing on TV and I was inspired by his audacity, by the way he boxed, his genius and also by the brilliance of his words. He worked the cameras and the audience. He worked his opponents and he was the greatest boxer in the history of the world. His lightness of foot, heaviness of punch, speed and deftness thrilled.
He changed his name to Muhammed Ali because he claimed that Cassius Clay was his slave name and he was no slave.
He refused to fight in Vietnam because he had no argument with the Vietnamese people, had a moral obligation not to kill, and thought that the war was racist; that it was disproportionately sending poor blacks and not rich whites. They stripped him of his championship and locked him up. They prevented him from fighting.
The establishment did not like him becoming a Muslim. They did not like him speaking out against the civil rights violations, or the fighting of an unjust war. They tried everything to shut him up.
But Muhammed refused to shut up. He championed civil rights issues and stood up for his principles.
I salute all that he stood for. He was a great man, not so much because of his genius in the ring, but because of his principles and actions outside it.
He said he wanted to leave this world having done more good than harm. I think he achieved that.
He’s a role model for me!!
Goodbye Muhammed Ali!!