Tags: | Abdul-Jabbar | Muhammad Ali

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on Ali: 'Different Things to Different People'

Image: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on Ali: 'Different Things to Different People'
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By    |   Saturday, 04 Jun 2016 07:11 PM

Basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Saturday praised Muhammad Ali, who was 74 when he died on Friday, for "his ability to be different things to different people."

"To sports fans, he was an unparalleled champion of the world, faster and smarter than any heavyweight before," the NBA hall of famer said on Facebook. "To athletes, he was a model of physical perfection and shrewd business acumen.

"To the anti-establishment youth of the 1960s, he was a defiant voice against the Vietnam War and the draft. To the Muslim community, he was a pious pioneer testing America’s purported religious tolerance.

"To the African-American community, he was a black man who faced overwhelming bigotry the way he faced every opponent in the ring: fearlessly," Abdul-Jabbar said.

"At a time when blacks who spoke up about injustice were labeled uppity and often arrested under one pretext or another, Muhammad willingly sacrificed the best years of his career to stand tall and fight for what he believed was right.

"In doing so," Abdul-Jabbar continued, "he made all Americans, black and white, stand taller.

"I may be 7'2" but I never felt taller than when standing in his shadow."

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Basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Saturday praised Muhammad Ali, who was 74 when he died on Friday, for his ability to be different things to different people. To sports fans, he was an unparalleled champion of the world, faster and smarter than any heavyweight...
Abdul-Jabbar, Muhammad Ali
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2016-11-04
Saturday, 04 Jun 2016 07:11 PM
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