muhammad ali Essays

Submitted By brau269
Words: 604
Pages: 3

A major cultural icon is Muhammad Ali, he is a symbol of controversy, perseverance, and strength to America and the rest of the world on and off of the boxing ring. Ali is still recognized as one of the most noticeable people even after forty years of setting the tone in the ring creating a legacy. First, Muhammad Ali is mostly noticed as an icon of strength for his victory in the ring. Through his triumphs in big time events such as the “Rumble in the Jungle”, for his gold medal in 1960’s Rome Olympics, and his defeat of Sonny Liston. Ali had to overcome many obstacles such as the upset of beating the world heavyweight champion Sonny Liston in 1964 at the age of twenty-two. There was much controversy brought into the ring by these two fighters, Liston was described as “he used to be a hoodlum; now he is our cop; he was this big Negro we pay to keep sassy Negroes in line” (The New Republic’s magazine editor Murray Kempton). Ali is described in the press as deliberately using psychological warfare designed to unsettle Liston by exciting his anger and encouraging his overconfidence. This made Ali a villain in the eyes of White America and Liston was considered a victim. Second, Muhammad Ali is an icon of controversy because, shortly before his heavyweight victory The Miami Herald published an article quoting Ali’s father saying that his son had joined the Black Muslims and that they had brainwashed him into hating White America. This in-turn had the media on their toes, promoters were threatening to cancel the fight unless Ali relinquished his ties to the Nation of Islam. An agreement was reached only when Malcom X (a close friend of Ali) agreed to leave town only to return the night of the fight. Ali would not link himself directly to Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam until after the fight. This convoluted his relationship with the media and the public, because he was a part of this “white-hate group.” Many reporters and journalists refused to call Ali by his name and continued to call him Cassius Clay. Ali later announced that Cassius Clay was his slave name and he would be referred to as Muhammad Ali. Ali soon transferred from the NOI to mainstream Sunni Islam in 1975. Third, Ali had shown to be an icon of perseverance by standing up for…