Muhammad Ali is one of the most decorated athletes in American history. For decades he dominated the boxing world going against any and every opposition that came before him. His stamina and charisma has yet to be matched by any athlete since him. The Vietnam War drove many Americans into the vicious battle. Many served faithfully but Muhammad Ali refused to serve his country in that way. His career was threatened and he was on the verge of being named one of the great villains of American history simply because he refused to fight in a war that his religion did not believe in and that most Americans would find in bad taste just years later.
Muhammad Ali started off as Cassius Clay of Louisville who goes to a local store in search of merchandise and leaves his bike sitting unchained outside of the store. When he comes back the bike is gone and Clay is furious. He hunts for the nearest police officer in hopes of getting his bike back somehow, but the police officer could not help him and Clays vow to beat up the culprit (Ezra 7). Clay ironically took up boxing several months after the ruling of the Brown v. Board of Education court case. The story of Clay meeting Joe Martin is one of the defining moments in the man that would become Ali’s boxing career (Ezra 7). Without that moment in history you can validly argue that Muhammad Ali might have never became the legend that we know today.
Clay was born to Odessa Grady Clay and Cassius Clay Sr. on January 17th, 1942. His mother had roots going back to an Irishman named Abe Grady while his father claimed to be related to Henry Clay, a great politician of the American Whig party (Edmonds 13-14). Cassius Clay was sheltered from the type ...
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...r communism" (Edmonds 82)
Ali was convicted for refusing to join the armed services and was able to be bonded out for a total of $5,000. During this time the court decided to take away Muhammad Ali’s boxing license and without that he was unable to support himself financially. Ali began to find work in any way that he could, he worked at stores, spoke at universities, and made money almost any way he could. By the 1970s the United States population had begun to realize why Ali refused to go to Vietnam. Despite becoming one of the most hated Americans in the country he was able to resurrect his career by fighting in smaller venues and getting more buzz around his name. He was able to become a great icon of peace and courage for young people to believe in. To this day Ali still maintains the same courage and beliefs that he had when he was the champion of the world.
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