Cassius Clay – “The Louisville Lip” – Muhammad Ali was once an animated quote machine.
Muhammad Ali is being honored again this week by Sports Illustrated, which submitted interview questions via email. Lonnie Ali says the responses are his.
Ali’s 39th Sports Illustrated cover is second only to Michael Jordan’s 50 SI covers.
The SI story by Tim Layden chronicles Ali’s challenges of being lifted, poked, and moved as a photo prop by adoring fans just wanting their moment with The Champ.
Age affects all of us but Ali’s Parkinson’s disease has robbed him of his ability to communicate, engage, and focus. Why is he still paraded in front of the public when he appears to be completely detached from his surroundings? Does the Greatest of All Time really savor public pity parades?
The people who love and live with Ali every day are aware of his capabilities, but are they so close to it that they are unable to accept his obvious discomfort? It’s tough for all of us to watch a withered and speechless Muhammad Ali struggle to even raise his once mighty hands to acknowledge a crowd.
Surely he is not being manipulated to leave his comfortable chair for these “proof of life” cameos. His family loves him but let’s hope other fiscal manipulators aren’t using The Champ to keep a positive cash flow for his family and institutions associated with him.
Let the man have his dignity. Let ESPN cameras show a picture of him enjoying a game from his home setting, not crammed into a stadium seat where he looks as if he’s waiting for a root canal.
We love you, Champ. Sorry that some use you as a window display.
The Grawemeyer award is more than deserved. Watch this video for a reminder of his cultural and societal impact, or click the video below.
He owned the 60s and some of the 70s. The 1991 interview with Bryant Gumbel was shocking at that time so imagine the changes that have occurred in the 25 years since.