Monday, June 6, 2016

6.6.16 Hero of the Day: Muhammad Ali

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Name: Muhammad Ali
Age: was 74
Occupation: former boxer
Last Seen: in the Great Beyond
Awarded For: being the greatest
This past weekend was a tough one for the world of sports, with the exception of the Tigers beating the crap out of the White Sox.

The weekend began for many with the news that Muhammad Ali had died from respiratory failure at the age of 74. The beloved boxer born Cassius Clay in Louisville was a man who showed class in and out the ring. Even though his opponents were bitter enemies. Ali showed nothing but respect and positive sportsmanship in the end. This past weekend, WOOD-TV 8 here in Grand Rapids showed a clip of Ali appearing at the Grand Rapids Ronald McDonald House in 1993. There, he was reunited with a former opponent whom he was friends with. There, he showed class, especially outside of the ring.

Ali showed the world his hatred towards the Vietnam War by announcing that he wouldn't fight in it. He didn't want to kill people of color whom he felt were really our friends. Ali was stripped of his title, but he took his case to the Supreme Court in the end and won. Ali was allowed to fight again and won several more championship titles.

Ali fought his last match shortly after I was born in 1981, but announced that he had Parkinson's three years later. Eventually, Ali lost his ability to speak and when he lit the torch at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, the tremor in his arm was very apparent.

One of the greatest incidents regarding Ali, IMHO was when he gave a troubled teen boxing gloves on a pre-"who my baby daddy" episode of Maury. He was an aspiring boxer and Ali even signed a picture for him.

Losing Muhammad Ali makes me wonder if there will be any other athlete on Earth who could carry his torch. Who knows? With sad stories of athletes kicking fellow athletes in the balls, people who beat their wives and yes, drugs, there was Ali, who remained a champion in and out of the squared circle. The world will miss him.

May God bless his family and friends. 

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