Muhammad Ali – from asshole to G.O.A.T.

marcoreport

MarcoReport is a forum wherein Marco and his guest writers share their opinions on hot topics of the day.Along with sharing personal essays; poetry; and anything else we feel may interest you!

Latest posts by marcoreport (see all)

The artist formerly known as Cassius Clay was not a saint and he would be the first to tell you that. Let’s not forget that one of Muhammad Ali’s most famous quotes is “the man who views the world at 50 the same way he did at 20 wasted 30 years of his life.”

Ali was cocky, mean-spirited, jovial, racist and stubborn closer to 50 years ago. He called boxing legends and heavyweight champions Joe Louis and Floyd Paterson “Uncle Toms”. During World War II, Joe Louis was drafted and became a poster boy for the Army who used him as propaganda. Ali took a completely different stance during the Vietnam War and told Joe Louis why – which Louis didn’t like.

Ali’s arch nemesis Joe Frazier received harsher insults when Ali called him a gorilla and consistently mocked Frazier’s intelligence and looks. Ali was the ultimate bully and invented ‘talking smack’.

Ali was also a separatist that believed whites should marry whites, blacks should marry blacks, and Chinese should marry Chinese etc. He went on many shows back then to proudly preach his brand of racism.
He was also a cheater and a womanizer who father children out of wedlock. He was married 4 times.

All of this said, one has to wonder why the world is mourning Ali as if he was Martin Luther King Jr. or Gandhi. How did this man many of us would’ve considered a dick transform himself into a beloved man that is coveted throughout the world?

I’ve seen hours and hours of tape covering Ali and the more I watched this asshole the more I liked him. Along with his bad qualities came wit, thought-provoking comments, and facial expressions that made you aware of his complexity, sincerity, and frustration.

The frustration was obvious but no other man with the spotlight he had on him had ever expressed it. He was a black man in America during the 60’s where black people were not considered equal and discriminated against. Where blacks couldn’t drink out of public water fountains, eat at restaurants, get hotel rooms, ride a bus, or get into colleges. The discrimination was endless and it was all supported by the American government. Wouldn’t you be frustrated?

Ali could’ve easily shut up and follow instructions like many famous black athletes before him but he dared to buck the system. He fought the establishment. He went out of his way to let people know how beautiful he thought he was. He took pride in his skin color and nappy hair. He challenged anyone to tell him he was ugly. He said racist things that forced people to look at themselves. Ali instilled a sense of pride to a generation of black people that were being water-hosed and attacked by police dogs. From today’s perspective this is trivial stuff but back then it was making history.

It’s a shame that Ali abused Frazier by saying he looks like an ignorant gorilla but the man wasn’t perfect. Frazier was affected by his taunts for the rest of his life and never truly forgave Ali. It’s a reminder that Ali was far from an angel and that lifting him up on a pedestal on par with the Ghandis of the world is a stretch.

However, there is no arguing that Muhammad Ali was a trailblazer and an icon – a courageous man that stood for something and took risks. A man who refused to be defined as a boxer. A man of full of contradiction as he evolved.

The man who shook the world.

RIP






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked as *