One of the greatest ever not just in the sport of boxing. One of the greatest athletes of all time in any sport too. Many loved the man not only for what he did inside the ring. Many loved Ali for what he fought for including his view in war. He was also known a civil rights champion but was he? Did he promote unity and integration?
Quite a sensitive topic I agree but it's 2018 and we can talk about it. Gotta love Ali and how he talked. His trash talk to me is greatest of all time too. He was witty and clever. Man he would also back it up. However he might have crossed the line many times. In his younger days, he believed "all whites are devil". He said this on one of his interviews. He thinks black belonged to black and that white belonged to white. “I don’t hate rattlesnakes, I don’t hate tigers — I just know I can’t get along with them,” he said. “I don’t want to try to eat with them or sleep with them.”
Saying these kind of things was huge at that time when racism was still a huge problem. Ali was brave though, he stood by what he thought was right. He also said “Black people should marry their own women,” Ali declaimed. “Bluebirds with bluebirds, red birds with red birds, pigeons with pigeons, eagles with eagles. God didn’t make no mistake!” “A black man should be killed if he’s messing with a white woman,” he said. And it was the same for a white man making a pass at a black woman. “We’ll kill anybody who tries to mess around with our women.” But suppose the black woman wanted to be with the white man, the interviewer asked. “Then she dies,” Ali answered. “Kill her too.”
These were strong words against any man. I personally believe this only created further division between races. Furthermore, Ali also obliterated and verbally abused many boxers. The saddest one may have been against Joe Frazier where Ali called Smokin Joe ugly, an Uncle Tom and a Gorilla which all terms did not suit well to anyone. “I’m cringing in my car right now just thinking about it,” says Janks Morton Jr. He visited Frazier in Philadelphia in the early 1970s with his dad, Janks Morton Sr., who trained Sugar Ray Leonard and was close friends with Frazier’s sparring partner, heavyweight champ-to-be Ken Norton. “I can still see [Ali] sitting next to Howard Cosell punching that [rubber] black gorilla, saying, ‘It’s going to be a thrilla in Manila when I kill that gorilla.’'
Everybody was laughing at Ali's antics and verbal attacks but not Frazier. Smokin Joe took it personally and he was badly hurt. Cora Masters Barry, former chairwoman of the D.C. Boxing and Wrestling Commission, recalls Frazier and Ali both being in Fayetteville, N.C., for a prizefight in 1989. “We tried to get them together, and Frazier wouldn’t even be in the same room with him. He just wouldn’t do it.” Ali might have done it to rattle Joe and gain psychological advantage but at that time, it was too insensitive. Below is a link where you could see many interviews of Ali and his views about race and how he thinks he looses his identity with mixing it up with other races.
Please watch the video and see it for yourself
WHAT DO I THINK ABOUT ALL THESE?
I honestly can't say how I would have reacted if I lived during those times. Ali and many African Americans didn't have it easy. Who forgets how Ali was not welcomed in a restaurant because he was black? He presented his Olympic gold medal and even that didn't matter. I would have probably cried if I was Ali. You fight for your country's pride and you can't even eat in a restaurant in your own soil? Ali was devastated, who wouldn't be? Because of this Ali said "this damn thing means nothing then threw his medal in the Ohio river. Was that a myth though? I will let you hear it directly from his brother. Please see link below. Regardless of what we feel about the matter, I believe he helped uplift the confidence of his brothers He showed the world how to see one race in a different light. He made sure people saw his race as good as any other man. Before I end this, let me say that Ali might have been too young and too emotional to understand some things during those times. I have high respect for him as a great boxer and as a great man. He admitted he was wrong. Watch the end part of the above video where he said it wasn't true that all whites are evil. He went on and said "there are black devils, red devils, yellow devils. Anybody can be a devil.
Image source: Getty images
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