Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr, 1942–2016) was an American boxer, Olympic gold medalist, and three-time heavyweight champion of the world who became an international focal point in the 1960s amid tensions over racial injustices and the war in Vietnam. Stripped of his title in 1967 for refusing induction into the US armed services, Ali was only allowed to resume boxing following a 1971 US Supreme Court decision in his favor. During his career and well into his retirement, Ali was a prominent advocate of peace, understanding, and social justice.
Muhammad Ali, who died in 2016 at the age of seventy-four, was the most fantastical American figure of his era, a self-invented character of such physical wit, political defiance, global fame, and sheer originality that no novelist you might name would dare conceive him.
NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar shares how he first became a social activist during the historic Cleveland Summit and the importance of today’s generation of athletes to continue bringing issues of social injustice to the forefront.