Monday, June 6, 2016

The Passing Of Boxer And Human Rights Activist Muhammad Ali Mourned All Over The World

Muhammad Ali

Former heavyweight boxing champion, Muhammad Ali, has died at the age of 74. Ali was checked into a hospital in Arizona this past Thursday and listed as in stable condition. However, his condition took a turn for the worst on Friday. Reports state Ali died from septic shock and organ failure. His family was at his hospital bedside.

Ali won the heavyweight world title three times in his career. He retired with a record of 61-5. However, he was most known for the human rights stance he took during the civil rights era in America that saw black people suffer terrible injustices. Ali stood up to the U.S. government at a time when doing so could have gotten him murdered, as happened to other key figures during the civil rights movement, under illegal, invasive investigation by the FBI and CIA. There are offensive secret files on Ali at both agencies, for daring to stand up to injustice in America.

Ali won a gold medal at the 1960 Olympics. When he returned to America, he thought it would mean he would be treated with respect and have equal rights. However, a restaurant refused to serve Ali a meal, as it was “whites only.” Ali left the restaurant and later threw his gold medal into the river. A replica was later made and given to Ali to replace the original Olympic medal.

Muhammad Ali and the first black Miss America, the beautiful Vanessa Williams

Ali was diagnosed with Parkinsons in 1984, the direct result of punishing blows he took to the head in the ring while wearing his opponents down. Ali remained active despite his diagnosis. I cared for someone with Parkinsons for 6-months. In that time, I gained a greater understanding of the disorder than before. It is the accelerated degeneration of the brain initiated by head trauma.

Many people with Parkinsons suffered head trauma at some point in their lives and it is a common link. The brain controls the body and in that Parkinsons manifests itself in a number of physical ways. Medicine, rest, proper nutrition, physical therapy and brain training helps in delaying the progression of the disorder.

Tweets on Ali from my Twitter page 
As stated in the column previously, my parents met Ali in the 1970s when he visited Kingston, Jamaica and was a special guest at the Prime Minister's residence for a function held in his honor. My dad's friend, former Prime Minister, Michael Manley, invited Ali to the island and he graciously accepted. My parents stated Ali was a nice, charming and humorous person (Meeting Muhammad Ali). My condolences to Ali's family on his passing. I am sorry for your loss. He was a special person and it is sad to see him go.