Louisville Lip, our hometown hero
As a kid I grew up with stories of how Cassius Clay would jog past my grandparents’ house while training. Watched him on TV joke around with Howard Cosell. Was pulled in by his flat out, take no bullshit and give no disrespect attitude. But learned that’s it okay to show disrespect to those that are fighting against you. His energy, his speed, his rap was more of a pull and spectacle than his fights.
I learned what having convictions meant as I understood, in the limited way a kid can, the impact for him to become a Muslim and when he became a conscientious objector refusing to fight in Vietnam.
People weren’t just proud of him because he was from our town. They were proud of him because he was an amazing display of a person. That is what I remember most from seeing him as I grew up and lived in Louisville. His smile was genuine and the look from his eyes made you feel that he saw and recognized you.
He was someone who was bigger than themselves, because I believe he understood that to be truly The Greatest you have to freely give of yourself to others.