He was born Cassius Clay. He became Muhammad Ali, the greatest boxer that ever lived, a legend, a king. He was a man, with everything noble that so rarely comes with this word. He was a negro, as they used to say. He was courage, he was rebellion, he was greatness. Mohammad Ali has died at age 74.
"Ali was the most thrilling if not the best heavyweight ever, carrying into the ring a physically lyrical, unorthodox boxing style that fused speed, agility and power more seamlessly than that of any fighter before him (…) 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."
When he refused to be drafted during the Vietnam war, he said: "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 and kill my mother and father. Shoot them for what? How can I shoot them poor people? Just take me to jail."
Rest in peace Champ.