Muhammad Ali - The Only Boxer I Know
The title statement is not an exaggeration but a fact. I have never watched a boxing match even on television and neither I am interested in this sports but I know who Muhammad Ali was. I know what sport he played and that he was the boxing champion who was almost undefeatable during his playing years. I know him, I recognize him and I respect him for the life he lived for the rights of American Blacks and a true champion of the sport he played.
My knowledge about him is what I have read in Wikipedia and other such sites on internet but his certain quotes, reading stories about his struggles from other greats made me aware of him. He was such a sportsman that this sport Heavyweight Boxing became synonymous with his name. If you asked someone about boxing he would definitely mention his name in this conversation. He died on 3rd June 2016 leaving a world with his life full of inspiration for generations to come coincidentally this day is also the death anniversary of my father. I have read about his opposition of Vietnam War. He was the first celebrity to openly criticize that war and as an army man refused to go there to fight. Government cancelled his boxing licence after this incident and he served term in jail for the same. Later on after he won the court battle he fought for nearly four years he came back to the boxing world. He was also the most popular person who converted to Islam.
He became inspiration for many to oppose that war which was criticized even by the world leaders. The reason he gave to refuse to fight in the war made him champions for the rights of blacks,poor and oppressed:
"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 running a charitable organization before his death which is still working to make this world better for underprivileged people. World always need such greats and the void created by their absence always remain difficult to fill. Rest in peace Muhammad Ali.