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Ali, a flawed human being

Reader comment on item: Muhammad Ali's "Beautiful Soul"

Submitted by nicolas (United States), Jan 11, 2009 at 23:32

Ali's greatest contribution to boxing is that his notoriety allowed other black fighters to get a shot at the title, so hated was he by the main establishment. When he had fought Liston the first time, many hoped he would win but did not give him a chance. When his being a black Muslim came out, he was the villain, and Liston the hero. Up till that time, if you were a black champion, you mostly fought whites in defending your title.

Look at Joe Louis, Floyd Patterson, and even Joe Frazier after him. In fact, of the six title defenses that Rocky Marciano made, four were against black fighters. Louis made on three defenses against such fighters in 25 defenses. Until Ali came along, Marciano held the record for most defenses against a black fighter. Ali broke that record with his fifth defense against Zorra Folley, and had defended against four white fighters as well.

In his defense, he said that George Chuvalo was the toughest guy he ever fought, and he had never been hit so hard until that time by one shot which Henry Copper did, knocking him almost out. Both were white fighters. He gave great praise to the Canadian people when he fought Chuvalo up in Canada, and was very cordial to the Irish when he fought there, sometime in between the Frazier and Foreman fights. somewhat bringing up his Irish roots. He was great friends with Elivis Presley, who some accused also of being racist. When the black Muslims earlier wanted him to get rid of Angelo Dundee, Ali stuck by his white trainer, like Schmelling with his Jewish trainer when the Nazis wanted him to "get rid of the Jew" Dundee, who seemed closer in public to Leonard, in his biography, said that Ali showed more loyalty to him than Leonard did.

When Howard Cossell passed away, ALI was at his funeral services. I don't think he ever forgot what Cossel, a Jewish person did. Howard got death threats from people for supporting Ali during the Viet Nam war era. Cossell I'm sure always got first choice when Ali was going to be interviewed. He praised opponents like Joe Bugner, and even went to visit Gerry Cooney, claiming that Cooney might be the next heavy weight champion. Also met privately and was very gracious to Gerrie Coetzee, the white South African who became briefly a WBA heavy weight champion.

Does this sound like a racist? Yes what he did to Joe Frazier was wrong. He was very insensitive to the fact how Frazier would be perceived in the black community. Ironically Frazier had grown up black and poor, while Ali (Clay) had accually grown up more middle class. He felt that he was selling tickets he claims, and latter he paid tribute to Frazier in the late 80's in a TV interview. Saying that Frazier pushed him so hard, that he became a better boxer and fighter because of that.

Don't forget that Floyd Patterson, before their fight, had said he was going to get the heavy weight title back for America. When Patterson had fought George Chuvalo before that comment, he was full of praise for Patterson during the fight, and showed no animosity towards Patterson until the "America comment" was raised.

I don't think he was as intelligent as some make him out. If he made racist remarks like he did, he certainly needs to atone for that, esspecially in regards to his calling for the lynching of integrated couples. He was however a product of his times. He knew racism, and joined the Black Muslims because of that. However, he is not associated with Louis Farahkan. In 1984 he supported Ronald Regan for president.

His comments about the dictator of Zaire, one of the most brutal and oppresive people in history showed his bias, and unfortunate lack of knowledge. Perhaps he thought he was being diplomatic when he praised the Soviet Union when he visited that country. According to a woman on another site, she claims she was a waitress, he did drink alcohol, liked Rum and coke she claimed. Was really phony in regards to his religion, much like Mike Tyson.

Like it or not, he is the US most famous athlete of all time around the world. Should he get an award such as he received from Bush. Probably most of those who do get these awards don't really deserve them anyway. Ironically this shows how much of a hypocrite George W. Bush was, probably never liked the man. I have to say I always rooted against Ali in his fights. However, I have to give him credit, he was perhaps the greatest heavyweight of all time, a true American Icon. His impact on world sports and American sports is unrivaled. He did not have a compaisionate soul, and he was not a man of world peace, that is garbage. He certainly had some racisim in him as has been shown, sadly brought out by anger. If he is still the same way as he was as a young man, then he is a racist now. However, as he has gotten older, and realized his mortality, stuck with his Parkinson Disease, I would be shocked that he is the same person of some 33 years ago.


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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Reader comments (107) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
Ali Two Face [207 words]JerryJul 23, 2016 00:56230770
Clay [10 words]AlbertE.Jun 26, 2016 23:11230176
Different later in life [107 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Karim BajestaniJun 11, 2016 17:58229949
1He was a traitor [84 words]dhimmi no moreJun 11, 2016 07:46229938
His first and greatest sin. [17 words]Malcolm SmithJun 11, 2016 06:38229936
Why criticize Ali, who hasn't killed anyone? Better to condemn murderers like Mahmoud Abbas [450 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Michael SJun 10, 2016 03:26229918
The boxer did us a service [194 words]MIchael SJun 16, 2016 03:41229918
1The greatest man on earth lacked good judgment [40 words]PrashantJun 9, 2016 01:47229896
2A despicable person really [40 words]AussieJun 5, 2016 23:57229840
G.O.A.T [68 words]Yinka OyesanyaDec 4, 2012 13:30201166
Associations [141 words]Tony HobsonJul 21, 2011 11:02187602
2Response [893 words]ToniJun 11, 2010 10:35174231
1response [843 words]ToniJun 4, 2010 15:38173848
1I still dont get islam [210 words]J. NolanNov 3, 2009 10:09163997
Where do you get your information from [101 words]WHAT!Sep 3, 2009 15:51161038
1Bias much? [9 words]AnonymousMay 8, 2009 13:35155111
1Ali, a flawed human being [888 words]nicolasJan 11, 2009 23:32147805
ali is one of the greatest americans [312 words]thomas murphySep 22, 2008 23:22139042
Thank you [49 words]john coughlanFeb 25, 2008 21:17121066
who's racist [240 words]J. NolanNov 3, 2009 10:44121066
The people champ [140 words]Donald BrooksAug 23, 2007 09:49106836
The Greatest...The G Manifesto [9 words]The G ManifestoJul 22, 2007 01:35104283
3Why would any African American convert to islam ? [11 words]Phil GreendJun 9, 2007 14:3297141
7Why African-American's convert to Islam? The Answer [514 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Zaid ShakurJun 26, 2007 13:4297141
2Muslim slave Traders decimated East coast of Africa and its interior [443 words]David HarringtonSep 24, 2007 13:1697141
Read The History [562 words]Zaid ShakurSep 25, 2007 12:3997141
2Zaid Shakur - I think you protest too much [147 words]Grant GleesonOct 13, 2008 01:5897141
1why american blacks convert to islam [234 words]mark saichekJun 8, 2010 12:2797141
1Is Islam another form of colonialism? [157 words]jasminaOct 20, 2010 21:0697141
1Ali becoming Muslim [103 words]alJun 11, 2016 18:0997141
Reader Zaid glorifies the slave Zaid [74 words]PrashantJun 11, 2016 18:4397141
Is Islam another form of colonialism? Of course, it is. [356 words]PrashantJun 11, 2016 19:1497141
Trying to be a messenger of peace [41 words]FrankNov 13, 2006 22:1866045
1I Met "The Champ" in 1978 [136 words]MoonShadowJan 1, 2007 15:4866045
Ali was human [485 words]Lance M. HaleyAug 9, 2006 01:2952157
2And this guy was famous for...what? [123 words]Kevin MJul 16, 2006 14:2049824
Ali was a good Boxer [94 words]JuliuszFeb 26, 2006 13:5238083
2ken norten and jimmy young [77 words]mike mcnamaraOct 18, 2007 17:5938083
Muhammad Ali was the Greeeaaaatttest!!!!! [118 words]Ahmad R. JenkinsFeb 5, 2006 11:1933829
Response to Dr. Pipes comment [202 words]Clay LandonJan 7, 2006 16:3931237
Due diligence? [70 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
A friendDec 30, 2005 10:0330778
A few comments on your article, just a few... [1042 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Clay LandonDec 26, 2005 01:1930564
Ali was right [111 words]A. BurroughsNov 29, 2006 23:0130564
Marginally Black? [50 words]LiberalAvenger.comDec 20, 2005 18:5230306
a weak jab at ali [535 words]John AllenDec 20, 2005 02:0430227
1pearl's naiveté [35 words]brooklynbobDec 11, 2005 16:0029776
No he was not [58 words]MhamedSep 22, 2009 22:1329776
The Traitor [221 words]Patrick T. AltmanDec 10, 2005 20:0929755
Ali [321 words]SypherJul 14, 2006 18:2129755
Points of view [70 words]Muhammad ahmedJul 15, 2006 17:1829755
He was sentenced to death [77 words]MhamedSep 22, 2009 22:4729755
He was a great boxer, but not a good person at all [99 words]Johnny CarpatiDec 10, 2005 18:5329753
boxer [18 words]lee foleySep 15, 2007 11:5929753
Only Human. [85 words]Yinka OyesanyaDec 5, 2012 13:0429753
Re: Appeasing Moslems [75 words]KarlaDec 9, 2005 14:4229707
The Iraq war involves errors in tactics, not errors of principle [69 words]shane lindstromDec 6, 2005 10:5429514
in defense of Ali [634 words]a Filipino liberalDec 5, 2005 04:0929420
Mr. Pipes, Right on ALL Counts [129 words]Heather ClarkDec 5, 2005 03:1229418
Perfect example of why the president is a disgrace, he has people like this supporting him. [15 words]AnonymousDec 13, 2006 09:2429418
Question for Daniel Pipes [98 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Theodore ShulmanDec 4, 2005 17:5429405
Park [20 words]Lu An LiMar 6, 2015 22:5829405
Cook [45 words]AlbertE.Jun 26, 2016 23:2329405
Appeasing Moslems [356 words]F. ShakkiDec 4, 2005 10:5629396
A response to your Response [145 words]AnumApr 14, 2007 03:0629396
America the sports-mad [42 words]Peter HerzDec 3, 2005 21:3529366
Parkinsonianism does not prevent Ali from making his own decisions [30 words]Theodore ShulmanDec 2, 2005 21:3629336
Cassius "ali" Clay [270 words]YovenDec 2, 2005 16:5829328
Christianity [111 words]A.BurroughsNov 29, 2006 23:1929328
Most seem to miss your point [63 words]Darwin BarrettDec 2, 2005 11:5329316
Cassius Marcelus Clay [92 words]Abraham StubenhausDec 2, 2005 09:1829312
dirty boxer [91 words]JohnNov 30, 2006 15:1329312
The Champ failed flat_thumbs down [90 words]Donald L. FergusonDec 2, 2005 06:3429310
Muhammad Ali's "Beautiful Soul" [86 words]Behrouz AzarniaDec 2, 2005 05:3629308
You are an amateur [53 words]MhamedSep 22, 2009 22:5729308
you are an amateur? [73 words]mark saichekJun 17, 2010 00:0529308
Article 623: Muhammad Ali's Assistance Toward Release of Danny Pearl [383 words]Ed GordonDec 2, 2005 05:3129307
This is unfair [146 words]kDec 2, 2005 03:5429304
1Judea Pearl's misguided 'faith' in liberalism and Islamists [727 words]Ben van de PolderDec 2, 2005 01:0529300
Which is more ironic? [76 words]stanley bMar 17, 2012 16:3429300
A shame the Islamists did not share his views [83 words]stanislausMar 27, 2012 23:5029300
and the fixing match (Combine)? [17 words]francesco mangasciaDec 2, 2005 01:0329299
Ali: A nobody's Brotherhood [46 words]Mark-Alan WhittleDec 1, 2005 21:2529291
re Pearl harbor comment? [110 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
YehudaDec 1, 2005 19:5029288
Poole [40 words]Adar.Mar 6, 2015 22:5529288
Muhammad Ali [246 words]Dan RusenDec 1, 2005 19:4429287
2Some surprising reasoning by Pipes [414 words]John HadjiskyDec 1, 2005 18:5729285
Leopard can't change its spots [174 words]EBDec 1, 2005 18:4329283
That's not exactly what you said... [94 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
John-Paul PaganoDec 1, 2005 18:2329281
Patrice Lumumba [169 words]Merl Francis KimmelDec 1, 2005 17:5729276
question about Ali summary [27 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
RobertDec 1, 2005 17:0329270
Judging a Life [386 words]DanielDec 1, 2005 15:3829265
Ali The Greatest [212 words]George ClarkDec 1, 2005 15:3229264
Re: Muhammad Ali [192 words]Lawrence M. DubinDec 1, 2005 15:1129263
The Missing Factor [536 words]David AroninDec 1, 2005 15:0729261
Beautiful Soul [66 words]robert finkDec 1, 2005 13:5029251
Muhammed Ali; [110 words]William EakinsDec 1, 2005 13:4329249
Muhammad Ali's Beautiful Soul [227 words]Kim SegarDec 1, 2005 13:3229245
Ali [139 words]Donald W. BalesDec 1, 2005 13:1329243
A response to your Response [107 words]AnumApr 14, 2007 02:5429243
About Floyd Patterson & Ernie Terrel [66 words]ScottDec 1, 2005 12:5529241
The faded butterfly [163 words]Mary Kay SmedstadDec 1, 2005 11:4629237
A responce to your response [285 words]AnumApr 14, 2007 02:3529237
Pipes's courage [177 words]Larry DerfnerDec 1, 2005 11:2929236
Thank you [37 words]JaneDec 1, 2005 11:2329235
GWB Honors Ali [45 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Brian KheelDec 1, 2005 10:5929233
your axe to grind [35 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
MattDec 1, 2005 10:2829230
Ali helps and you.... [163 words]Asim AhmedDec 1, 2005 08:4829225

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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