Lashley remembers Muhammad Ali, extends condolences
Tue, 06/07/2016 - 12:00am
Minister of Sports, the Hon. Stephen Lashley has joined the international community in mourning the death of Muhammad Ali, describing the great American professional boxer and civil rights icon as an “outstanding athlete” and an “outstanding global citizen”.
“He represents what we can call the epitome of excellence,” he expressed.
“Whenever there was a match involving Muhammad Ali, everyone was at the edge of their seat. He conducted himself certainly as a statesman, he fought well and he was always well prepared. He reminds us of what it takes to achieve greatest – the level of preparedness, the self-sacrifice because he had to make several personal sacrifices in his life, on his way to the top,” he stated.
According to Lashley, the passing of Ali, born Cassius Clay Jr, has brought great sadness across the globe, including Barbados.
Ali died from a respiratory illness on June 3, in a Phoenix hospital. He was 74 years old.
“I remember him in particular because of many of the stances he took, certainly in support of the civil rights movement in the United States, in his support for black enfranchisement and the development of the Afro-American… He always stood his ground in defending black people in the United States and certainly beyond. Many of the positions he took at the time were lonely positions because he was fearless not only as a boxer, but he was fearless in the face of white supremacy and any attempt to denigrate black people he rejected and did it publicly on many of his television programmes; his interface with the media were always interesting moments,” Lashley recalled.
“I remember Muhammad Ali certainly as somebody who can stand on his own as an individual, as an athlete, as a freedom fighter and as someone who epitomises brilliance in all of his facets,” he added, extending sympathy to the Ali’s family, friends and the boxing community. (TL)