June 4, 2016

"In later life Ali became something of a secular saint, a legend in soft focus."

"He was respected for having sacrificed more than three years of his boxing prime and untold millions of dollars for his antiwar principles after being banished from the ring; he was extolled for his un-self-conscious gallantry in the face of incurable illness, and he was beloved for his accommodating sweetness in public. In 1996, he was trembling and nearly mute as he lit the Olympic caldron in Atlanta. That passive image was far removed from the exuberant, talkative, vainglorious 22-year-old who bounded out of Louisville, Ky., and onto the world stage in 1964 with an upset victory over Sonny Liston to become the world champion. The press called him the Louisville Lip. He called himself the Greatest."

From "Muhammad Ali, Titan of Boxing and the 20th Century, Dies at 74."

ALSO: "But Ali had his hypocrisies, or at least inconsistencies. How could he consider himself a 'race man' yet mock the skin color, hair and features of other African-Americans, most notably Joe Frazier, his rival and opponent in three classic matches? Ali called him 'the gorilla,' and long afterward Frazier continued to express hurt and bitterness."

AND: From my perspective, as someone who was 13 years old in 1964 when Cassius Clay emerged in the popular culture, he seemed to have invented self-promoting bragging. My parents' generation held values of modesty and sportsmanship. You shouldn't verbalize your self-esteem, especially in a way that vaunted yourself over others. You should achieve and be admirable and then, perhaps, other people will praise you.

As my parents and their coevals saw it, Clay was teaching the young people the wrong values, including the idea that you can push beyond your area of actual achievement — in Clay's case, boxing — and insult your opponents about something unrelated — such as the way they look. You could not only call yourself beautiful, but the other person ugly. To young people, like me, that seemed very funny and fun and liberating.

(I don't really want to mention Donald Trump in this post, but the connection is too obvious. Who are we? How did we get here?)

70 comments:

Michael K said...

The poor dope. He was used by everybody.

As Cassius Clay he was a champ.

Meade said...

He was the greatest master of micro-aggression before micro-aggression was even a thing.

Quaestor said...

As Cassius Clay he was a champ.

As Cassius Clay his name honored a fellow Kentuckian, the abolitionist Cassius Marcellus Clay. Sold a bill of goods by the mountebank Elijah Poole (aka Elijah Mohammad) Clay changed his name to honor the famous fanatical mass murderer, slave merchant and child rapist. Later in life Ali lost several of his millions to a Saudi confidence trickster who sold him on the idea of an exotic sports car rivaling the best from Maranello and Stuttgart to be build in Jeddah or Riyadh or Godknowswhereistan. Ali may have been a bruiser in the ring, but he was a naif everywhere else.

Poor dope indeed.

(grammar glitch fixed)

MayBee said...

I liked it that a man who had been so strong and beautiful and full of ego was willing to be in public as his illness took his strength and beauty. He could have hidden away in hopes people would only remember him at his peak.
Very inspiring for people, I think, to see that it's ok to no longer be perfect.

David Begley said...

"Then, in 1967, at the height of the Vietnam War, Ali was drafted to serve in the U.S. Army.

He’d said previously that the war did not comport with his faith, and that he had “no quarrel” with America’s enemy, the Vietcong. He refused to serve."

When did Islam become anti-war? Or is it just the Nation of Islam?

Quaestor said...

Ali was also exploited by the miserable Howard Cosell who "befriended" the poetic pugilist simply to goad him into braggadocio and effrontery for the resultant tabloid headlines.

traditionalguy said...

When the totally corrupt insider LBJ wanted to have him and many others killed, he said no thank you.

Trump has emulated Ali in so many ways. And Trump may be The Greatest fighter now that Ali has passed.

Swede said...

He's evading the draft in heaven now!

Oso Negro said...

Ali's style was not apart from the negro street style of his day. He was just the first person to put it right out there in front of white America. Whether you knew that at the time or not is a function of how many poor black kids you interacted with while you were growing up.

Amexpat said...

Trump has emulated Ali in so many ways. And Trump may be The Greatest fighter now that Ali has passed
Yes, they both are/were brilliant self promoters.

But there are major differences. Ali had beliefs that he was willing to make sacrifices for. Not so for Trump. Both didn't want to serve in Vietnam. Ali stayed in the country, missed three prime years of his boxing career and faced the real prospect of serious jail time. Trump took the rich kid's route out - got a spurious doctor's note.

Amexpat said...

He was the greatest master of micro-aggression before micro-aggression was even a thing.
Are you referring to his ability to sting like a bee?

dreams said...

Ali became the hero and Joe Frazier the villain but it was Frazier who grew up in a poor sharecropper family while Ali grew up relatively middle class and even had aunts who were schoolteachers. As a sports fan I remember watching the then teenager Cassius Clay in the golden gloves boxing matches and later reading about his winning the gold medal in the Olympics. I was in the Air Force in Japan when he won the championship and no one thought he would beat Sonny Liston including all the black guys.

Hagar said...

As far as I know, Muhammad Ali (a.k.a. Cassius Clay, the Louisville Lip) accepted the consequences of his actions. That sets him apart.

I do not approve of boxing, and if I should have to pick a "favorite" it would be Floyd Patterson (who presumably also would pass muster with AA and her parents), but Muhammad Ali was the world heavyweight champion fair and square, and he was a marvellous showman and a great entertainer - like A.J. Foyt or Tiger Woods in their fields.

traditionalguy said...

Ali was a winner who called out his his opponents as losers. He had bad tone. Really bad tone. A winners brash tone.

The Sonny Liston fight forever branded him as a winner. And he was much smarter than his opponents. So many hated him for that too.

Patrick said...

He was pretty good at macro-aggression too, Meade!

Unknown said...

NYT crossword had "coeval" in it yesterday. Cool to see it pop up again here, today!

Humperdink said...

I was never a fan of him. Yep, his mouth was ahead of its time.

I thought he converted to Islam just to avoid the draft. Funny how his anti-war message of peace has yet to carry over to the current crop of Islamic followers. I wonder what Koran the Champ was reading? Apparently a different one than ISIS. You would think Ali would want to go and kill the Viet Cong infidels.

Is ISIs going to mourn his death? You know Obama will want to create a national holiday for Ali since he was a follower of Islam. Watch the slobbering out of the White House begin.

bagoh20 said...

Even though I was only in elementary school when he hit the scene, I was very aware of him. It was hard for a kid not to cheer him on with his youth and bravado, and like most, my parents disliked him. Although I, like most kids, kind of claimed him as a hero, I too felt a disappointment with his breaking of the standards of what I saw as good sportsmanship and heroism. I wanted to like him, but I always felt a little disappointed with his choices and antics. He would beat the best fighters in the world, and forced you to accept him as great, but I always felt that he ruined his potential to be a hero, at least for me. His choice against going to Vietnam may have been principled, but I always felt and still do that it was half cowardice and half arrogance believing he was just too special to be used like other men. I think his effect on the culture turned out to be an overall negative one, especially for Blacks. He gave them confidence and pride, but without humility or gratitude, without which the confidence turns destructive.

coupe said...

I have only one memory of heavyweight boxing, and that was of two men hugging each other in the ring and wasting as much time as possible before the bell. In between they hit each other in the head, hoping to knock the other unconscious, and not have to win from a score from the mobsters in the jury seats.

It had no attraction for me. Neither did the Rocky Hollywood crap.

Adrian! Bring me my breakfast...

Greg Hlatky said...

Ali's legacy is forever besmirched by his relationship with Howard Cosell.

Sebastian said...

"To young people, like me, that seemed very funny and fun and liberating." Like all the other "funny and fun and liberating" things that make up the marvelous legacy of the 1960s, celebrated ad nauseam ever since by the Most Overrated Generation.

Quaestor said...

Is ISIS going to mourn his death?

I doubt it. They'd likely have crucified the former Cassius Clay as an infidel. The Nation of Islam is the joke version of the Religion of Peace, and would be about as welcome in the Islamic State as a Twelver Shi'ite. The Nation of Islam is to Islam as the snake-handling charismatic is to the Holy See, and gets about the same level of respect. Recall that Malcolm X converted to Sunni orthodoxy and got murdered for his pains by minions of Elijah Poole.

The Neon Madman said...

To many, he was the black Superman.

Laslo Spatula said...

Some years back I was working the overnight shift at an Adult Bookstore in the Bay Area when a limo pulls up in front.

Three men come inside, and a do a double-take: that's Muhammad Ali! He nodded, and the other two men stood by the door -- bodyguards, I figured.

Ali heads straight to the back to the 'Interracial' section, and peruses the video-tapes. I remember thinking it odd that his hands shook a bit as he read the backs of the tapes, but now I realize it was probably the onset of Parkinson's. Sad.

After a few minutes he comes to the counter with quite a stack of interracial porn, by which I mean small white women getting sexually pummeled in various orifices by virile black men. I noticed he preferred the ones where the men were black but not 'too black': to each his own, I figure.

I rung him up, and I still remember some of the tapes: "Black In The Back" -- either Volume Three or Four, I don't quite recall for sure -- the classic "I Can't Fit That In My Mouth!", "White Muffs and Cocoa Puffs," "Daddy, There's a Black Cock in My Ass!", and -- How Appropriate! -- "The Thrilla in Vanilla."

He paid cash from a roll of bills, then left with his bodyguards behind him. I hope he had a good evening with his purchases.

Anyway, that was the time I met Muhammad Ali.


I am Laslo.

Quaestor said...

Adrian! Bring me my breakfast...

And I thought the character's name was Adrienne.

Coupe, you sly devil, you've revealed to me a totally unsuspected side of the Italian Stallion.

coupe said...

Interestingly he was only 6 years older than Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump, who are also senior citizens on social security.

You have to wonder if they can live as long, with their enlarged livers and all that fat they are carrying around.

My daughter tells me that the baby boomers are like 18-wheeler's on the city streets, blocking the way, sucking resources, and spewing black smoke.

sinz52 said...

"You would think Ali would want to go and kill the Viet Cong infidels. "

Americans are infidels too.

When it comes to infidel vs. infidel, Muslims don't want to be involved.

As for Trump vs. Ali:

Real courage and integrity require you to be willing to risk your career and even your life for what you believe in.

Ali went to jail for his beliefs.

Trump never took a real risk on anything. He has always looked to cut a deal that would let him scuttle away.

MadisonMan said...

His lack of humility was not endearing. At least not to me. Hide your light under a bushel basket.

madAsHell said...

Ali and Jabbar. I could never understand why they took slave trader names. Especially, Jabbar who already had an Muslim name, Alcindor.

dreams said...

"Like all the other "funny and fun and liberating" things that make up the marvelous legacy of the 1960s, celebrated ad nauseam ever since by the Most Overrated Generation."

Or as I like to say The Sorriest Generation.

madAsHell said...

All threads should be locked after Laslo blurs the line between reality, and What. The. Fuck?

Humperdink said...

Humperdink said: "You would think Ali would want to go and kill the Viet Cong infidels. "

sinz52 responded: "Americans are infidels too.

When it comes to infidel vs. infidel, Muslims don't want to be involved."

Your response makes little sense. The Viet Cong were ready made to kill by American firepower. Ali could have been the lead dog in eliminating a substantial portion of one group of infidels.

OTOH, eliminating American infidels to the same degree would taken more effort than the "Champ" (cough) had at his disposal. That is if the Champ was a true believer.

CStanley said...

Who are we? How did we get here?)

Group behavior as a reaction to an excess. Your parents' generation prized humility to excess (often faux humility.) your generation reacted to that by embracing the more honest self promotion, to the point of braggadocio. The reactions, like pendulum swings, are as excessive as the inciting actions were.

And today with Trump we find ourselves at a point of reaction to excessive political correctness, in much the same way.

dreams said...

"All threads should be locked after Laslo blurs the line between reality, and What. The. Fuck?"

Laslo has been here, he is Laslo.

madAsHell said...

The Internet Adult Film Database shows that there actually is a porno flick called "Thrilla in Vanilla", and they created at least 10 different versions of it. I didn't confirm the other titles.

madAsHell said...

Godknowswhereistan

I believe the aviation community calls it Noteatingham.

Darrell said...

Ali never served a day in jail. That's the point of the appeal--all the way to SCOTUS.

CWJ said...

I've always felt that it was not coincidence that Ali was called up, and have viewed his draft resistence primarily as resisting the setup. As we've seen, government institutions are not particularly principled.

madAsHell, I too thought it amusing when converts to the Nation of Islam announced that they were dropping their slave names in order to adopt arabic ones.

Saint Croix said...

How could he consider himself a 'race man' yet mock the skin color, hair and features of other African-Americans, most notably Joe Frazier, his rival and opponent in three classic matches? Ali called him 'the gorilla,' and long afterward Frazier continued to express hurt and bitterness."

Here's a great timeline about the Ali-Frazier rivalry, one of the best in boxing, I think.

Saint Croix said...

Interesting that the words hurt him so much more than the boxing. To Ali, the words were nothing. But to Frazier, they made him so mad.

Curious George said...

Ali was on an airliner and was told my the flight attendant to put on his seatbelt as they were preparing for take-off.

Ali: "Superman doesn't need a sealtbelt!"

Flight Attendant: "Superman doesn't need a airplane."

Ali laughed, and put on the seatbelt.

I think that story says it all about Muhammad Ali.

Curious George said...

Ali said much more hurtful things to Joe Frazier than making fun of his appearance. He called his an Uncle Tom, crap like that.

Saint Croix said...

"Superman doesn't need a sealtbelt!"

That was one of the most bizarre comic books ever, Superman vs. Muhammad Ali.

Amadeus 48 said...

As I a kid in rural Michigan, I grew up with the modest hero ideal espoused by the Althouse parents. But then came Cassius Clay, soon to be Muhammad Ali. He was the Greatest.

He won the light heavyweight gold at the Olympics in 1960 and gave a charming and modest interview in Rome. He reappeared the next year later training in Miami under Angelo Dundee, and bragging up a storm. There is a wonderful story in the Sports Illustrated Vault by Huston Horne called "Who Made Me--Is Me!" (September 25, 1961) that reveals the young Cassius Clay in all his glory, with hard-headed assessments of his potential from Dundee and Archie Moore, who had trained him and from the eleven man syndicate of Louisville business leaders who backed him financially.

He is an utterly captivating personality--full of charm, bumptiousness, ego, ambition, and self-discipline.

Highly recommended.

Meade said...

When We Were Kings

Roughcoat said...

I never liked him. He was a braggart and I don't like braggarts. He was a member of a racist anti-Semitic lunatic religious cult and I didn't like that either. I was brought up in the John R. Tunis sportsmanship ethos and I believe in it still. I grew up in a mixed-race town in the 50s and 60s and went to mixed race schools and what I saw in Ali was the worst of Black street culture, which I experienced directly and sometimes violently, extolled and elevated to a position of acceptable behavior and made worthy of emulation. He came across to me as a bully, stupid and crass, especially when he recited his dumb "poems." I'm not surprised that to Althouse he seemed very funny and fun and liberating, and I'm guessing she didn't attend mixed race schools where she would have experienced first-hand his baleful influence on black youths in particular and on sports in general.

Ann Althouse said...

"NYT crossword had "coeval" in it yesterday. Cool to see it pop up again here, today!"

Yeah, I know. Not a coincidence. I began writing "age-mates," but decided to class up this place.

FullMoon said...

Ali claimed to have adopted his outlandish style from a "50;s wrestler, Gorgeous George.

Ali turned Frazier into the "white man.s champion".

When Ali met Foreman in the middle of the ring prior to the first round,
He said "You been seein' me your whole life, prepare to meet your master".

To Howard Cossell, on national tv," You callin' me a nigger, Howard?"
I wondered if it was staged, but I think Howard actually pooped his pants a little.

William said...

There were a lot of contradictions and deficits in Ali's character and legacy, but he was undeniably the greatest fighter of his generation. The Ali-Frazier bouts will never be surpassed. Whatever negative things you say about him were not on display in the ring. He fought with courage and tenacity--as did Frazier........The mills of God. People say that he got cheated out of the three most productive years of his career because of his stand on the draft. Maybe, but maybe those three years out of the ring delayed the onset of his later debilities.....He seems to have driven a very poor Faustian bargain with fate. He was given good looks and a magnificent body but they didn't endure. They never do, but those bouts with Frazier and Holmes surely hastened the ravages of time. The last thirty years of his life didn't look like much fun.......Foreman seems to have had the charmed life. He retired early and only came back in the ring after fighters like Frazier had disappeared from the sport. I just heard him interviewed. His speech is clear, and his mind is sharp, and he made millions with that grill.......Cast a cold eye on lid, on death. Horseman pass by.

Bob Ellison said...

Compare and contrast Muhammed Ali with/to Michael Jordan. Similar levels in different sports.

Jordan never needed to proclaim himself the greatest. He proved it on the basketball court. The early years in Chicago, when he had no supporting cast at all, begat "the Jordan Rules", where five men would pretty much descend on one man, knowing that one man was the only one who could beat them.

Ali bragged incessently about his greatness, far beyond reality. Foreman and Frazier would have something to say about that, as might other boxers.

Jordan is still quiet, and cleverly so. He knows his place is secure.

jaydub said...

Lots of small people making ignorant comments on this thread. In his later years Ali was revered in Louisville by just about everybody, and justifiably so. He used his fame and fortune to do much good in the community, and he will be missed. Wonder if the same will be said about the small people when the their times come.

No, actually I don't.

dreams said...

Ali, a Louisville fan too.

http://www.cardchronicle.com/2016/6/4/11858530/remembering-muhammad-ali-louisville-cardinals-fan

Roughcoat said...

Don't forget, Ken Norton beat him, and so did Leon Spinks.

The greatest heavyweight figher/boxer of all time was Rocky Marciano. Period, full stop, end of story. I'm old enough to remember watching Marciano fight, and he was awesome. But why take my word for it? I'm just a small person making ignorant comments.

And Marciano wasn't a braggart nor did he belong to a lunatic racist anti-Semitic black nationalist religious cult.

As for "Whatever negative things you say about him were not on display in the ring": Wrong. Ali routinely mocked and taunted opponents in the ring, e.g. look at the famous photo of him standing over Sonny Liston, or read about his behavior in the fight with Ernie Terrell. Of course he only mocked and taunted inferior opponents or opponents he had already bested, which is the trait of a bully ... and an unsportsmanlike asshole. He didn't mock and taunt Frazier, Holmes, Norton, and Spinks where they were beating his ass, and he didn't mock and taunt Henry Cooper when the latter decked him with 'Henry's Hammer," a powerful left-hook to the jaw.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Funny and fun and liberating, indeed. Thanks.

Unrelated: Knopfler: Song for Sonny Liston

Howard said...

Rocky beat an old man for the title and did not fight any heavyweights of note except a broke and old Joe Louis. He was champ of the palooka era. Ali fought in the golden era of heavyweight champions and won the title 3-times. You just don't like uppity Negros.

FullMoon said...

Facing Ali is a worthwhile documentary. Other boxers personal stories stories of fighting Ali, as well as some of their backrounds. .
George Chuvalo stands out in my mind. Looks like a stereotype pug with a mashed up face. But articulate and interesting. His mother plucked chickens for a penny a chicken. His father showed up for work with a broken arm, never took a vacation for fear of losing his job. Chuvalo lost wife to suicide, son to drugs. Other boxers stories very interesting also.

damikesc said...

He's also the same guy who said Malcolm X deserved to be killed.

Not all sunshine and unicorns.

Ali claimed to have adopted his outlandish style from a "50;s wrestler, Gorgeous George.

It's pretty clear he did. If you see the original Gorgeous George, you can see a low-key version of the whole Clay/Ali persona. He wasn't as flamboyant, but George could draw attention well.

Also ironic that a wrestler did a lot to end his career. Japanese icon Antonio Inoki kicked the crap out of his legs for a 12 round fight (the rules limited Inoki from doing much else) and Ali's mobility never fully recovered. If it was under current MMA rules, Ali would've been decimated by a pro wrestler in what was, initially, supposed to be a worked match. An infection, multiple blood clots, and brief concerns about a possible need for amputation.

damikesc said...

As for "Whatever negative things you say about him were not on display in the ring": Wrong. Ali routinely mocked and taunted opponents in the ring, e.g. look at the famous photo of him standing over Sonny Liston, or read about his behavior in the fight with Ernie Terrell. Of course he only mocked and taunted inferior opponents or opponents he had already bested, which is the trait of a bully ... and an unsportsmanlike asshole. He didn't mock and taunt Frazier, Holmes, Norton, and Spinks where they were beating his ass, and he didn't mock and taunt Henry Cooper when the latter decked him with 'Henry's Hammer," a powerful left-hook to the jaw.

He was an absolute dick to Patterson.

dreams said...

"The Eleven Men Behind Cassius Clay
Innocent of prizefighting's bad old ways, these gentlemen hope by their example to put an end to the exploiting of boxers. They expect Clay to get rich—and to get a little bit richer themselves"

http://www.si.com/vault/1963/03/11/606229/the-eleven-men-behind-cassius-clay

Roughcoat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roughcoat said...

Rocky beat an old man for the title and did not fight any heavyweights of note except a broke and old Joe Louis. He was champ of the palooka era. Ali fought in the golden era of heavyweight champions and won the title 3-times. You just don't like uppity Negros.

Ali fought more than his share of palookas and has-beens. He did fight some worthy opponents, with mixed results. One of the palookas he fought (Cooper) decked him and another (Norton) defeated him convincingly, beating him to a pulp in the process.

His "victory" over Sonny Liston was a fraud. The fight was fixed: Liston, who was owned by the mob, took an obvious dive. To this day no one can studying film of the fight can find evidence of Liston being tagged by the punch that supposedly sent him to the canvas.

Ali himself praised Marciano as one of the greatest (after himself, of course).

You're right, I don't like uppity Negros. I don't like uppity white folks either, or uppity people of any race, color, or creed. I don't like uppity.

rcocean said...

I remember only two things about Ali. The first was my uncle - a standard FDR/LBJ/McGovern liberal - saying "He sure has a lot of white in him" when he's image flashed on TV.

The 2nd was how much all the Vets hated "Cassius Clay" for not serving. In fact, many of them refused to call him "Ali" all through the 70s.

rcocean said...

After reading about him and seeing some documentaries on him, I wonder how anyone could take the "he has an IQ of 86" seriously.

Then second, was that he was a man with moral courage. The Army wasn't going to give him an M-16 and throw into combat. They'd told him he'd probably serve a year and spend that time giving Boxing exhibitions in Vietnam and overseas. Yet, rather than do that, he was willing to go to jail and give up a very lucrative Boxing career. Not many have that kind of guts.

dreams said...

"Ali's grandfather was the son of a slave who named his son in honor of a Southern emancipator who was willing to die so that men could be free, Cassius Marcellus Clay. Ali's father proudly passed the name along to Ali, whose a-historical rebuke was a sign of indoctrination by a church built on hate. The real story of Cassius Marcellus Clay should inspire us all to rise above our station in life to help our fellow man."

"UPDATE: In light of Ali's death, I just want to add Rest In Peace, Ali. May the former Cassius Clay meet up with the original. Heavyweight champions the both of them."

http://donsurber.blogspot.com/2015/10/no-muhammed-ali-cassius-clay-was-not.html?spref=tw

Old Phil said...

"My daughter tells me that the baby boomers are like 18-wheeler's on the city streets, blocking the way, sucking resources, and spewing black smoke."

She sounds sweet.

Falling Beams Adjustment said...

None of the little boys in my 1960s neighborhood were agnostic about Ali. Everybody had an opinion. The view of Ali then was different than today. The civil rights struggle was different too.

One of the huge debates of the day was whether to call him Cassius Clay or Ali. We didn't use the phrase, "He identifies as" Muhammed Ali, so we must call him that. Many people said they would call him by his given name. There was a sense that to call him Ali was to show deference or allegiance to the more radical black movements of the day, like the black panthers as opposed to MLK.

Ali represented the Malcolm X side of the civil rights movement. Joe Frazier was a quiet son of a sharecropper from the deep south. When Ali called him Uncle Tom, many heard him mocking MLK's non-violence message. Many White people that admired MLK and his message liked Frazier. This caused Ali and many of his black fans to call Frazier the White man's choice. Ali mocked his dark skin, his hair, his lips, called him a gorrila. It was horrible and yet people find a way to explain that away. Ali was no saint.

Maybe the worst story of all about Ali's treatment of Frazier was many years after the two had retired, Ali was in Frazier's and Ali woke up on the far side of town with no car at a strange woman's house. Ali was a notorious adulterer. He called Joe in the middle of the night and said Joe, I know we haven't spoken in years but I need your help. Frazier felt sympathy and got out of bed and came to give Ali a ride. As they drove across town together in the night Ali reminisced about the people and places they both knew and Frazier felt a bit nostalgic too. But as the car pulled up to Ali's destination, Ali went back to his vicious taunting and told Frazier he had called him because he knew he was a sucker and a step and fetch it. Frazier drove off and wondered what kind of a wicked spirit could possess such a man.

Ali's aura is built solely on his contribution to the Far Left's anti-war movement. Thats it. Yes, some might claim it is his Civil Rights image as well, but he opposed MLK and many believe was complicit or at least knew of the plot on Malcom X. Not much of an image, unless divisiveness is your metric.

I respect things Ali did in the ring and consider some of his publicity stunts clever and effective, but to those people that add some sort of spiritual halo over his head, I consider that a serious distortion of the values this society once stood for. Frazier and Foreman are far better human beings.

Roughcoat said...

"My daughter tells me that the baby boomers are like 18-wheeler's on the city streets, blocking the way, sucking resources, and spewing black smoke."

Meanwhile her generation, the Millennials, is covering itself with glory.

Roughcoat said...

Ali was a tool of Elijah Muhammad. He did whatever Elijah Muhammad told him to do, did his bidding. If Elijah Muhammad had told Ali to serve in the army and volunteer for combat duty in Vietnam, Ali would have done so without question. Ali did not refuse the draft out of principle.

Mutaman said...

A black man with a really big mouth. Not strange that the fools continue to hate him after all these years.

Bill said...

Unfortunately, you won't learn of his shameful treatment of Floyd Paterson in any of the encomia, but some of us remember.