Forget the fact that he was the greatest boxer of all time. Muhammad Ali spoke truth to power before anyone knew what to say:
n 1967, at the height of the Vietnam War, Ali was drafted to serve in the U.S. Army.
He'd said previously that the war did not comport with his faith, and that he had "no quarrel" with America's enemy, the Vietcong. He refused to serve.
"My conscience won't let me go shoot my brother, or some darker people, some poor, hungry people in the mud, for big powerful America, and shoot them for what?" Ali said in an interview. "They never called me nigger. They never lynched me. They didn't put no dogs on me."
He suffered mightily in this life, and he made every attempt not to pull up the ladder behind him but to raise and elevate everyone else. And now he's gone. The greatest.