Athletes, celebrities react to Muhammad Ali’s death
Muhammad Ali, legendary boxer and social activist, died Friday. He was 74.
Ali was hospitalized on June 2 to be treated for a respiratory issue.
Ali was not only widely considered to be one of the greatest boxers, but his social activism and colorful personality also made him one of the most popular—and polarizing—athletes of all time.
Ali, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1984, was born Cassius Clay. He joined the Nation of Islam in 1964, shortly after winning his first heavyweight title. Ali was arrested in 1967 for refusing to join the United States military. He appealed his case to the Supreme Court, which overturned his conviction in 1971. Ali would win the heavyweight title two more times before turning into a beloved figure in retirement.
After news of his death, numerous athletes and celebrities paid tribute to Ali on Twitter.
"The world has lost a great Champion. Muhammad Ali, lover of human beings, a warrior for the fight against discrimination...a great friend."— Jim Brown (@JimBrownNFL32) June 4, 2016
We've lost a giant in Muhammad Ali. He did things his own way and I am so appreciative to have known him for so long. God rest his soul.— Hank Aaron (@HenryLouisAaron) June 4, 2016
You'll always be The Greatest for more than just what you did in the ring. A champion to so many people in so many ways.— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) June 4, 2016
@laurawbush and I are saddened by the death of Muhammad Ali, The Greatest of All Time. I gave Ali the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005 and wondered aloud how he stayed so pretty throughout so many fights. "It probably had to do with his beautiful soul. He was a fierce fighter and he's a man of peace, just like Odessa and Cassius Clay, Sr., believed their son could be." Muhammad Ali was an iconic and historic figure who thrilled, entertained, influenced, and inspired millions. Americans will always be proud to have been in his corner and called him one of our own. Laura and I send our heartfelt condolences to Muhammad Ali's family and friends.
I was in the air last night flying from Atlanta to London when I got the text from a close friend that within' a few hours we were going to lose Muhammad. Ali inspired myself and generations around the world to be hungry to achieve, work as hard as you possibly can, to be a great as you possibly can be and make sure that not a day goes by where you don't do your absolute best to make the world smile and feel good. Feel inspired. And feel that no matter how hard times may be, there's always hope for tomorrow. From hanging out with you in New Zealand as this little punk kid, to years later as a WWE rookie when you whispered to me "Can you rumble?" to a few years later when you bestowed upon me "The People's Champ" moniker. I will always be grateful for the impact you've had on me. Thank you and I'll miss you. Much love and strength to the Ali family. Rest in love and light Champ. You'll always be the Greatest of All Time. And pretty. 😉👊🏾
Muhammad Ali and I share the same birthday and that alone made me feel I had purpose. Yes, he was a great boxer, the greatest of all but as a courageous humanitarian, that is where his brilliance spoke loudest to me. He made me believe I could become HIM. I could be my own man, use my own voice, stand up for my beliefs AND be respected for what I do on my battle field which is the court. He was strong, proud and vocal... a black man who lead by words and action. Misunderstood and unappreciated for most of his life. Thanks for standing for all but especially your own. It was always my honor to be in his presence and I am a better man for it. #RIPALI
Muhammad Ali The Greatest RIP LG x— Liam Gallagher (@liamgallagher) June 4, 2016
His may be the Greatest of 20th century American stories. Muhammad Ali, rest In peace 1942-2016— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) June 4, 2016
"He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life." - The Greatest, Muhammad Ali, R.I.P.— Matt Harvey (@MattHarvey33) June 4, 2016
RiP to the one and only Muhammad Ali, simply the best...— Vince Carter (@mrvincecarter15) June 4, 2016
Prayers 🙏🏾 up to his family and friends
Ali is survived by his wife Lonnie and nine children.