Normally I wouldn’t simply post because it is someones birthday – but this is the phenomenon known as Muhammad Ali who stood up to the entire world outside of the boxing ring and gave little Muslim and black kids all over the world a hero to look up to.
Quote on refusing to be drafted for Vietnam (which cost him his boxing license in the prime of his fighting years).
Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on Brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights?
No I?m not going 10,000 miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over. This is the day when such evils must come to an end. I have been warned that to take such a stand would cost me millions of dollars. But I have said it once and I will say it again.
The real enemy of my people is here. I will not disgrace my religion, my people or myself by becoming a tool to enslave those who are fighting for their own justice, freedom and equality. If I thought the war was going to bring freedom and equality to 22 million of my people they wouldn?t have to draft me, I?d join tomorrow. I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs. So I?ll go to jail, so what? We?ve been in jail for 400 years.
UPDATED: A very good article on his legacy here.