Why Muhammad Ali Is The Greatest Of All Time
Muhammad Ali was an icon. One of the most powerful men to ever walk the earth. He has had so much influence on many people, especially athletes. Growing up, seeing all of his motivational quotes made me strive for greatness. “I’m going to show you how great I am” is one of his quotes I will never forget. Many people would assume that Ali was referring to sports when he said that quote, but for me, it was much more.
Black in America
“I am America. I am the part you won’t recognize. But get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours;my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me.”
Growing up, I didn’t think racism existed. I thought everyone was treated equally and boy was I wrong. I never knew how great Ali was outside of the ring, all I knew was I wanted to be dominate in whatever sport I played, like Ali was in boxing. I can remember someone using a racist remark to me in the 8th grade. I was so caught of guard, hurt, disgusted, and angry that. If I could’ve gotten to that white boy, I probably would’ve killed him. I didn’t know that I would have to work 10x harder than white people to even be able to live comfortably in America. I didn’t know who I was as an African American and what it meant. All I knew was that I am someone special and I would be great in America, like Ali. I started to do my homework.
I paid attention in history class when it was black history month. I continued African American studies even in college at Indiana university as a minor. While being in college, I finally realized the reality we wrestled with. I learned to love myself, my skin color, my culture so much more. Studying people such as Malcolm X, Dr.King, Muhammad Ali, gave me courage to stand up for myself and my people, no matter what. I had to realize that I am underprivileged in America. I am against the odds, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. I didn’t want any handouts or what they wanted me to have, I was going to take everything they said I couldn’t. I know that I am an unique individual and I was going to let this light shine bright.
Muhammad Ali gave me the courage to be what I wanted to be, and not what others wanted me to be. He encouraged me to stand for something and to be heard because my voice matters. He encouraged me to love all people and to never forget where I come from. He inspired me to take a trip to the motherland, back to my roots, my ancestry and last but not least he inspired me to be educated enough to understand business from top down. You see, Ali taught me that even though I’m a minority and might not be as privileged as whites, that I am somebody if I just so choose to show the world my greatness. I knew that once I showed my potential, intelligence, and determination, there was no denying me. Muhammad Ali paved the way for African Americans to open our eyes and make change to our situations!
Muhammad Ali has left an impact on the world today that no other Athlete could ever dream of. He took many risks in life. He took a risk fighting against the US government by refusing to be drafted into the military because of his religious beliefs, he took risks taking a political stand of his own and for African Americans, and he took a risk against his religion.
Had it not be for Mr. Ali, I probably wouldn’t be standing here today, as a 4 year Big 10 starter, a college graduate, a 23 year old CEO. All this is possible because of God, and because of mentors and idols such as Muhammad Ali and for that Mr. Ali I will forever pay homage. Thanks for being the man you were, for having the courage you did, and for having the confidence to know nothing can stop you. You were the People’s Champ, the Greatest of All Time, and forever my hero!