Bill Clinton pays tribute to Muhammad Ali
On 17 Jan 2012, Muhammad Ali turned 70 years old, and former American president Bill Clinton paid his tribute to the boxing legend.
Clinton stated, among other things, that Ali’s talent and charisma started the ball rolling which eventually led to the election of America’s first black president, Barack Obama.
“[Ali] was superior on merit without regards to his race when it came to what he loved,” Clinton said. “All this stuff played a role. Society changes slowly, like icebergs turning in the ocean.”
A man of peace
British broadcaster Sir David Frost also had his words of admiration for the boxer with whom he had once sparred verbally on TV interviews. “Over the years Muhammad Ali spoke with peace – not just for boxing, but peace in general,” he said.
One of the things Muhammad Ali was known for was his very vocal opposition of the Vietnam War. Despite the risk to his career, then at its peak, he made his protest by refusing to serve in the US Army when the time came for him to be drafted.
This resulted in his arrest and conviction, as well as the stripping of his boxing titles and suspension of his boxing license in 1967.
Four years later, the US Supreme Court reversed Ali’s conviction.