Paul: Your command of the fight game makes me doubly depressed to have to report on a column in today’s Washington Post praising to the skies one Muhammad Ali, on the occasion of a shrine named after him in his home town. It’s not to late to lose your Thanksgiving leftovers after you read what former president Bill Clinton said about Mr. Ali:
“The world is a better place because of you. You thrilled us as a fighter and you inspired us even more as a force for peace and reconciliation, understanding and respect. No one was ever more beautiful or brash or bright or powerful or fast in the ring. It was breathtaking.”
Columnist Michael Wilbon agrees that Ali “changed the world.” Such pacifistic voices as Kris Kristofferson, James Taylor, Kathleen Battle and Angelina Jolie must have agreed. They all turned came to the Louisville dedication. Which is only fitting. If not for the fawning of the beautiful people, Ali would not have continued fighting well past the point where his brashness could not compensate for loss of power and speed and left him vulnerable to permanent brain damage. Instead of worshiping him as they did themselves, they should have paid attention to who was really exploiting him. It might not have made for peace and reconciliation, but at least he would not have ended up the ultimate chump.