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Saturday, June 4, 2016

Thoughts about Muhammad Ali

  • What an athlete: 6-3, 215. Imagine him at middle linebacker.
  • One of the first mainstream celebrities to embrace Islam. Today it's common, and we've come to understand that Islam plays a major role in our world.
  • Out front of most of the nation in opposing the Vietnam War. In retrospect, of course, he was right.
  • A pioneer in athletic celebrity for the television age. He was the first athlete to engage in what we now call "trash talk", but he was clever about it. His relationship with Howard Cosell forced TV sports in a different direction.
  • His record was 56-5. Hung around too long at the end; a lesson for us all.
  • What the late TeĆ³filo Stevenson might have become.
  • A model of humility and responsibility in retirement.
  • A reminder that being a professional athlete in contact sports is a hazardous profession.