Remembering the Champ

“Along with so many other people around the world, I was very sad to learn of the death of the great Muhammad Ali, one of the most influential figures of the last hundred years.

Although I am not a fan of the violence in boxing, or the way it inflicts so much damage to the brain, I was an enormous fan of Muhammad Ali.  

His mischievous courage and self-belief gave hope to millions of people who had something big and scary to confront, helping to arm every David against every Goliath and providing an irreverent challenge to racism all around the world.

With his Vietnam protest he was willing to face ridicule and hatred to stand up for what he believed in.

Also, he had a unique way of letting his mouth loose and then forcing himself to find a way to follow it and set a brilliant example for everyone interested in a fairer and more just world.Ali was also a supporter of the Reebok Human Rights Foundation, which is where I met him. He insisted that I take the traditional Punch the Champ photo with him, which I was very happy to do.When I travelled to the event with him in his limo, he was suffering from Parkinson’s but it was clear he had lost none of his wicked sense of humour. We will badly miss this Champion.” – Peter Gabriel