Blogged by: Natalie Sorrell, Bay Area Contributor | Around the NFL
I don’t know if I am so emotional over this because of watching The History Channel’s remake of Roots, or if it’s because my respect for him went far deeper than what I thought. When I saw the post on Facebook of him being on life support I sent up a prayer right away…or a DUAH in Arabic (the exact translation of the word means supplication). I think we all knew this day would be soon, but how do you prepare for the loss of an American Icon, a legend, a man whose fights rocked the world? Nonetheless, I cried when I saw the first death notice, as I am not one that gets involved with personality worship. I was a lifelong Prince fan and although his death saddened me, it was nothing like this. No this is something totally different…
Muhammad Ali was a living example of what it means to stand up for what you believe in. He wasn’t some “Made in Hollywood” or reality TV character. He was REAL, CONCSIOUS, and had a personality that rivaled the Sun. I was not alive during the time of his greatest fights, but that’s of no importance here because it’s who he was as a MAN that sits highest with me. Everyone that knows me, knows I am the biggest sports fan and that I love all sports! Well except cricket and that’s because I just don’t get it lol. So for me to say that my admiration of the GOAT has nothing to do with any of that, it says a lot. I saw a quote of his earlier and it made me cry because of the strength of character it took to even make it and to act upon it.
“My conscience won’t let me go shoot my brother, or some darker people, or some poor hungry people in the mud for big powerful America. And shoot them for what? They never called me nigger, they never lynched me, they didn’t put no dogs on me, they didn’t rob me of my nationality, rape and kill my mother and father. Shoot them for what? How can I shoot them poor people? Just take me to jail.”
He lost everything for refusing to fight in Vietnam. He didn’t change his position out of fear of losing his material possessions, he didn’t waiver in the face of being sent to jail. He had a position and he stood on it. There are few true examples of people actually doing this, so how can I not respect him?
We need larger-than-life staples like Muhammad Ali to be examples of real people, who made real choices and was willing to suffer the real consequences of his actions, all in the name of fairness and his religious beliefs in Islam. We need this country to see positive and relatable examples of what Islam is and what it isn’t. So for me, I mourn the loss of who he was as my brother in Islam. We have a saying when someone passes, in English it is;
From Allaah is our beginning and to Allaah is our return..
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