I Don't have to be what you want me to be
Date Written: 05/06/2016
Year Published: 2016
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX19626
'A strange fate befell Muhammad Ali in the 1990s', Mike Marqusee writes in Redemption Song, his wonderful, illuminating study of 'Muhammad Ali and the Spirit of the Sixties'. The man who had defied the American establishment was taken into its bosom. There he was lavished with an affection which had been strikingly absent thirty years before, when for several years he reigned unchallenged as the most reviled figure in the history of American sports.' The global outpouring of grief, affection and tribute to Ali this weekend has been moving and heart-warming. Yet, there is a part of me that thinks that, as affection has washed away the old contempt with which he once was greeted by large sections, especially of American society, we have also lost something of the sense of Ali's true greatness.