I do not question the significance of Mohammad Ali, but nor do I have any particularly sentimental or insightful observations to share at his passing. My only real memory of anything having to do with him is that I bet with somebody in my class, probably fourth grade, on the Ali-Frazier Fight of the Century in 1971; I bet on Frazier and of course won. While I have nothing profound to share, my friend Juli Buehler posted the following item on Facebook, which I’d like to share. The photo of Ali’s autograph was also posted on Facebook by my friend Fr. Tom Krieg. Notice the word at the bottom. TL
Ali! Like so many greats we know him by one name.
It seems his entire life he was fighting. Yes as an athlete. But those “out of the ring opponents” of his time often landed more blows, than the opponents in the ring.
It might be nice to think those “out of the ring opponents” are behind us. That the Ali of today would not face the challenges of race, religion and societal stereotypes.
I wonder though … when we look around and see and hear the angry words of hate that swirl around us on social media, is the world now so very different?
Ali was athletic and artistic; undeterred by anyone. Remember, he lived with Parkinson’s for almost half his life. As he aged, disease stole his athleticism and his artistry of words. His final gift was to live on undeterred.
I wonder though, what he would have to say about the swirling words of hate we see and hear. Would he be silent? Should we?
– Juli Buehler