Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali is a prominent, African American boxer who sacrificed a lot from his career because of what he believed. Muhammad Ali born 1942 and died 2016 was a well-known boxer who won the championship 3 times, he had won 56 times in his 21 year career (“Historical Timeline”). His name was not always Muhammad Ali, he had a slave name Cassius Clay. He changed his name when he followed Malcolm X who went against the government did not rebel peacefully but violently. Muhammad also changed his religion to Islam. After a few years of boxing he was drafted to the military to help fight in the Vietnam war, but Muhammad refused to join the army and later was stripped of his championship belt. He did not join the army because he knew it would go against his Islamic religion. Muhammad was never into politics and he always fought for blacks and others struggling with racism. Ali had eight children and Laila was the only of the children that continued boxing after her father. She was born in 1977 and was named women’s heavyweight champion in 2002 the super middleweight championship, with a twenty four and zero record( “Laila Ali.”). She ended up facing the daughter of one of her father’s opponents. Muhammad Ali was first put on a poster when he was going into England to fight their greatest boxer George Foreman. After that he was later put on 39 more posters and covers and ended up becoming a big athlete around the world. Muhammad Ali was a prominent, African American boxer who defied the American government by refusing to go to war after being drafted, and who sacrificed his professional boxing career for his religious beliefs.
In March 1966 when Ali was drafted to serve in the military, Muhammad Ali decided to make headlines around the world when he refused his induction into the U.S. military. “Because of what Muhammad did, he was pillared by politicians and the media as a coward and a traitor to the United States”( Rubin;). Ali did not want to be in the army because he did not want to kill people; he knew that was bad and that would have gone against his religion. Muhammad was very strict with his religion and would not do anything that would go against it. When Ali was talking about what he did going against the military he did not have fear when he made the decision to not be in the army. Muhammad ended up paying a big price. Just one year from the day he was drafted, he was sentenced to jail for five years and had lost his heavyweight title. Muhammad Ali did not have to jail. He was freed by the judge and his conviction was overturned.
Ali had also ended up losing all of his winning money from boxing. Ali had lost several million dollars. He was bankrupt and pretty much everything he had was taken from him. He could not box for three and a half years-he got his license taken away so he could not box in any state. In order to get back what he lost, he had to box for several more years, in those years he was supposed to be retiring. Many say that in his late career the blows he got to his face were the reason of how he got Parkinson disease, which he had to go through in his last three decades of his life (Rubin,). Though all of all these bad things have happened to Ali he actually got the attention of others and helped jumpstart the anti-war movement. These actions helped encourage Martin Luther King, Jr. to come out against the conflict of going against the army and doing the anti-war movement in April 1967( Rubin,). Muhammad Ali’s courage remains an inspiration to anyone acting on a principle in defiance of prevailing public opinion today. Muhammad Ali was a prominent, African American boxer who sacrificed his professional boxing career for his religious beliefs. When he was drafted for the war he knew he could not do it because he would break his religious code. Muhammad Ali introduced “black powers” to the white Americans when he talked in his speeches about how blacks needed freedom and how racism needed to stop. When Ali first started talking about how blacks should have freedom, many disagreed and thought he was wrong. After a few more years many people realize that Ali was right and that they should go with what he started. In the months and years that followed, Ali transformed himself from being merely a boxing champ to a champion of his people, speaking out against injustice and racial inequality. He was frequently misunderstood by the media, which at the time was almost exclusively white (as opposed to just overwhelmingly so today). At the height of the Civil Rights era, his embrace of the Nation of Islam’s rejection of racial integration was seen by many as just another form of bigotry — the “NOI” was considerably feared at the time and targeted by the FBI — and throughout the rest of his life he was called on to act as an ambassador for his religion as probably the most famous Muslim American in history, other than perhaps his mentor Malcolm X. With his embrace of whimsical poesy, Ali brought a touch of gentility to the most brutal of athletic pursuits. As he aged, he grew more wistful, and his non-rhymed pronouncements often took the form of inspirational epigrams, (Owens) such as “A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.”(Owens). Despite his relative silence over the last three decades as Parkinson’s disease robbed him of his quicksilver tongue, he remained a powerful example for future generations of rappers. The shadow senator of the Hip Hop Nation (Gonyea), he is still remembered as a hero and as a great speaker that helped change the perspective of people in everyday lives. Muhammad Ali is a great and a fearless man who we still think of today. Today Muhammad Ali’s children are accomplishing new things like helping with charity to help make their father proud.


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