Analyzed Sports | Rachael Chapman
REMEMBERING THE WORLD’S CHAMP
“He took a few cups of love. He took one tablespoon of patience, one teaspoon of generosity, one pint of kindness. He took one quart of laughter, one pinch of concern, and then he mixed willingness with happiness. He added lots of faith and he stirred it up well. Then he spread it over a span of a lifetime, and he served it to each and every deserving person he met.”
More than four decades ago Muhammad Ali shared with journalist David Frost his life recipe. Now, a year since ‘The People’s Champ’ was laid to rest, the world remembers his legacy and celebrates the life of one of the greatest and most unforgettable athletes of all time.
The three-time heavyweight champion’s legacy goes well beyond his successes in the ring. Ali did more than just trash talks his opponents, ‘The Louisville Lip’ played a vital role in the civil rights movement and fight for equal rights. While the scenery has changed and there have been many triumphs in the civil rights movement, racial tensions and discrimination are at all-time high.
In the 1960 Olympic games, Ali overcame every opponent in his way to bring home the gold medal. He stood on that Olympic podium among strangers that saw him for the champion he was, not realizing that his triumph was only the beginning of a long fight for equality. Ali claimed his title as ‘The World’s Champ’ only to return to a still racially divided America that wasn’t ready for the fight that Ali would soon start outside of the ring. Despite his controversial and unapologetic approach, Ali started a conversation that to this day remains.
While there have been many triumphs in both athletics and the fight for civil rights, we still have many hurdles to overcome. Racial tension in the United States is once again frequenting headlines. The dissatisfaction and lack of trust in our political leaders are again dividing our nation. Our relationships with nations abroad are beginning to suffer as well with the distrust in our nation’s leaders. All of these things are eerily similar to the fight that The GOAT faced outside of the ring during the Civil Rights Movement.
As we celebrate the legacy of Muhammad Ali, it is necessary that we revisit the Champ’s recipe for life and the many lessons he taught over the years. If we take a few cups of his courage, a tablespoon of patience, a teaspoon of kindness, a pinch of concern and mix it with willingness and action, we too can create the change we envision for our nation. Rather than remembering ‘The Champ’s legacy, we could continue building that legacy and spreading his recipe for life to every deserving person, just as he wished.