Muhammad Ali: Boxer, Civil Rights Activist, Humanitarian

"Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth."

Cassius Clay/Muhammad Ali

Former world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, whose record-setting boxing career, unprecedented flair for showmanship, and controversial stands, has died aged 74.
-- June 3, 2016

In addition to his numerous achievements in sports, Ali was an anti-war activist in the 1960's, refusing to be drafted into the US Army in 1967 to fight in the War in Vietnam.

In 1964, the Olympic boxing legend stunned the world by defeating Sonny Liston for the title of Heavyweight Champion of the World, at the age of 22. Three years later, in 1967, Muhammad Ali once again emerged as a champion, when he risked it all and refused to be conscripted into the U.S. military, citing his religious beliefs and opposition to American involvement in the Vietnam War.
Ali was arrested and found guilty on draft evasion charges. In 1971, the United States Supreme Court unanimously overturned his 1967 conviction and he resumed his boxing career and spent the years that followed as a ‪#‎TrueChampion‬ in and out of the ring. 

His words about America's endless wars ring true today. 

"My conscience won't let me go shoot my brother or some darker people or some poor, hungry people in the mud for big, powerful America. And shoot them for what? They never called me nigger, they never lynched me, they didn't put no dogs on me, they didn't rob me of my nationality, rape and kill my mother and father. Shoot them for what? How can I shoot them poor people? Poor little black people and babies and children and women. How can I shoot them poor people? Just take me to jail.

"I ain't draft dodging. I ain't burning no flag. I ain't running to Canada. I'm staying right here. You want to send me to jail? Fine, you go right ahead. I've been in jail for 400 years. I could be there for 4 or 5 more, but I ain't going no 10,000 miles to help murder and kill other poor people. If I want to die, I'll die right here, right now, fightin' you, if I want to die. You my enemy, not no Chinese, no Vietcong, no Japanese. You my opposer when I want freedom. You my opposer when I want justice. You my opposer when I want equality. Want me to go somewhere and fight for you? You won't even stand up for me right here in America, for my rights and my religious beliefs. You won't even stand up for my right here at home."

Muhammad Ali always Did The Right Thing! He sat in jail almost four years, at the height of his boxing career -- stripped of his world boxing title... and then he WON!

The Greatest boxer, showman, humanitarian, civil rights activist, was the greatest anti-war hero of my time! He sat in jail for almost 4 years, at the height of his boxing career ... and then he won vindication from the US Supreme Court because he would not go "kill poor people" 10,000 miles from home in a country that would not fight for his rights as a racial minority to vote and live in peace. ‪#‎RIPAli‬

"The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses, behind the lines in the gym and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights."  --- Rest in Power, Muhammad Ali, 1942 - 2016

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