As a kid, when we’d get into our play fights, everybody wanted to be Ali. He was everything you wanted to be. He was cool. He was Fast. He was loud. He was Perfect.
As I grew older, I learned that he was in fact not so Perfect. He made decisions that were unpopular and some wrong. He decided that war was not something he was going to participate in no matter what it meant to some people. He decided early on that he would use all those microphones in his face, to talk about injustices within the Black community he loved so much. He decided to dedicate his life to a faith that also celebrated the beauty of being Black. But he also decided to degrade, demean and disgrace his opponents into oblivion. Opponents hated him. Some I would guess until he died. He tried to make amends, but for some, he had taken it too far. I’m sure he regretted it.
But man.. He had a charm, a way of endearing himself to you like no other. He was who he was with no apologies. He was a Hero to those little boys slap boxing in the backyard. He was a hero to young Men and Women in the struggle. He was a hero to working men in the mills and factories. Turns out he is one of our best. He is… The Champ!