Filipinos touched by boxer’s death
By Ted Alcuitas
Not too many sports personalities can command respect like Mohammad Ali, who died June 4, 2016. Here, we reprint three FB reactions from young Filipino- Canadians who were inspired not only because of his boxing prowess, but because of his humanity and his fight for equality.
RJ Aquino, IT, Politics
You transcended sport and inspired generations. Your legacy will live on in those who look up to you as a boxer, as a loud mouth, as an agitator, as a man who had an unwavering faith in himself. Yours was the only poster I’ve ever put up in my bedroom as a young man. I’ll never forget the lessons I’ve learned from how you lived your life. Rest in power, Muhammad Ali. Rumble, eternal man, rumble. ￼
John Cadigal , Graphic Designer
When I was young, I despised Muhammad Ali. He was loud, obnoxious, conceited and arrogant. I preferred a more modest kind of champion. My heroes were soft-spoken, he clearly was not.
I despised him, because I did not understand him. I had accepted the narrative and his demonization by the mainstream media. Draft-dodger, conscientious objector and radical Muslim. After the release of “When We Were Kings” his true nature was revealed to the world. This was a man of true conviction. He chose not to fight in Vietnam and instead go to prison because, “no Viet-Cong ever called me nigger.” That was his motivation all along. To be loudest and brightest beacon he could be, so that he could stand on a soap box and speak for those who had no voice. He always drew attention to racial inequality and social injustice as much as he drew attention to himself. He saw himself as defender of all African Americans and he was not to be ignored. His tongue and wit were were equally matched by his lightning fast fists. His record and skills alone would put him in very elite company in boxing history. Like Jack Johnson before him, he reveled in his “unforgiving blackness” but for a much greater cause than himself. History will remember Muhammad Ali not only as one of the greatest boxers but one of the greatest humanitarians. He forever changed my definition of what a true champion should be.
John Erana, Architect
Throughout college, I always had this poster on my wall. Ali inspired me to be confident and showed me that you could fight racism and create change through any forum- for him it was boxing, for me it was architecture. His influence on me will always live on.