Thursday, June 24, 2010

Day 13 - Muhammad, tell us more...

If you know me you know that I'm an Ali fanatic. I read, watch, and listen to anything even remotely related to the Greatest, so it's only right that I make my pilgrimage to his birth city. What a superb site for the Muhammad Ali Center, which aims to teach children to dream big and pursue their goals to the finish line. Very noble indeed.

The exhibits, mostly fight interviews and such, were a treat overall, but they withheld his bad underpants. I'm may be a big fan, but I believe the unfiltered truth should be told about Ali. Although the museum disclosed that Ali didn't throw away his Olympic metal in the Ohio River after getting ejected from a dinner liked he'd claimed for years, but other exagerations and blemishes were left unspoken.

What I mean to say is that some of his most famous quotes like, "I ain't got no quarrel with them Viet Cong. They never called me a 'nigger'," were spoon fed to him by Elijah Mohammad's people. He also turned his back on Malcolm X, a good friend, when X began talking about Elija's transgressions.

Muhammad Ali preached a lot about the uniqueness of women and how respect was owned to each and every one of them yet he flouted mistresses many times with several of his wives. I could go on and on but I won't. I'll just mention Joe Frazier. The man was so ill treated by Ali that even I shudder. Ali called him Uncle Tom, made fun of his dark complexion & his nose, and mockingly bandied about a rubber gorilla. While Ali later admitted that he went too far with his taunts, he never formally apologized to Frazier.

A frank discussion of these issues would make kids realize what not to do. A little openness would also humanize Muhammad Ali, who is a legend - but a flawed one.

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