Friday, November 04, 2005


Keesh, right to the heart. That's where this kind of blurb takes us. Muhammad Ali may be dying, according to the Evening Standard. According to the paper:
A close family friend said: "His condition has worsened. At this point he may only have months to live."
We remember walking through the Ralphs in the spring of 1968 and seeing the cover of Esquire magazine, the one with Ali posed as St. Sebastien, suffering the arrows of his enemies. He's been a hero ever since, saying what needed to be said, even when -- especially when -- most people didn't want to hear it.

In 1967, Ali refused induction in the Army. He knew his stand would cost him his championship. He knew he could easily accept induction, box in some Army exhibitions, stay well clear of Vietnam. Still he refused. We can't imagine a star athlete in 2005 taking the same bold and principled stand as Ali.


Anonymous said...

I'm a big admirer of the champ too, Ronnie.
Always have been.
But I think the family of Pat Tillman would argue your last point. Tillman sacrificed something a wee bit more valuable than a boxing championship.
Lest we forget.

Ron Davis said...

Funny you mention Tillman, JJ. I thought much the same way, but the comparison didn't work for me. Taking nothing from his sacrifice, Pat Tillman did the politically popular thing by joining the military. Had he taken an unpopular stance and opposed the war, he would have been figuratively crucified. But hey, he would have been alive.

Anonymous said...

Geeeeezzzzeee... I hope this isn't true. But Parkinson's Disease is both progressive and fatal.

We don't know what medications he has taken over the years, but we do know that he declined a cell implant that could have helped him, even at that early stage of the understanding of the implants.

Ali is said to be the most recognisable figure in the world. I met him, by accident, in the 70's and then later he collected magic stuff that we built. I even have a tape of him showing one of our tricks to Fidel ... (not very well, incidentally) ... he then gave away the secret, saying that it was against his faith to decieve someone ... how could anyone not love him.