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Friday, June 21, 2013

Ali and the Army

At NYT today, Bill Rhoden recalled that 46 years ago this week one of my heroes back then, and now, Muhammad Ali, explained why he didn't take that step forward and go along with getting drafted into the Army.  Of course, being in college at the time and facing the draft myself, I cheered on Ali as I had in all of his fights going back to his very first.   But I forgot what happened next: a group of leading black athletes flew off to meet Ali to decide for themselves if he was sincere about avoiding service due to religious beliefs. And they concluded he was.  And what a group (greatest ever?): another one of my childhood hereoes, Jim Brown; b-ballers Bill Russell, Elgin Baylor and (then named) Lew Alcindor; and more.  Here's a little newsreel on the meeting that I found.

Below that, in contrast, a little ditty from the two coolest dudes on the planet (and mothers, lock up up daughters):  Ali and Sam Cooke. 

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