As so many, I was deeply saddened this morning to hear the news of the death of Muhammad Ali. While I have not ever really been a boxing fan, I have always been a Muhammad Ali fan. I remember so clearly as a kid watching Ali’s fights on TV (often during “Wide World of Sports” time with Howard Cosell behind the microphone) and marveling at his moves and his strength.
But, Muhammad Ali was more than just a boxer of course. He was a man of courage who challenged our nation to recognize and respect African Americans for more than just athletic ability. He stood tall for what he believed in and never wavered in his convictions.
His eloquence, his sense of humor, his wisdom and his passionate dedication to peace, civil rights and understanding among people are what remains in our minds as we mourn his death.
We occasionally use the term “larger than life” to refer to individuals. Sometimes it is deserved, sometimes it is an exaggeration. In Muhammad Ali’s case, it is no exaggeration. He was a giant. He will be missed but his memory will always be for a blessing as we recall the joy of watching him box and the respect that he earned inside and more importantly, outside of the ring.
May his family be comforted at this time of loss.