The world continues to mourn the massive loss of the great boxer Muhammad Ali.
He was a warrior in the ring to many of us, but he was a father to his children, including his eldest daughter, Laila Ali.
During an interview with NBC’s Today Show, Laila shared with all of America how she is dealing with the loss of her father and is taking comfort in the global outpour of love and support.
Muhammad Ali wore his Blackness like a badge of honor. He was a man who remained strong despite a battle with Parkinson’s Disease for 32-years.
With a boisterous persona in and out of the ring, 3 heavyweight titles in tow and an infectious sense of humor, Muhammad Ali’s worldwide appeal couldn’t be contended with.
Ambassador Andrew Young and former heavyweight boxing champion of the world George Foreman joined Roland Martin on NewsOne Now to reflect on the life of Ali and share a few of their fondest memories of “the greatest of all time.”
Cassius Clay Versus The United States
While Muhammad Ali may have reigned supreme in the ring, one of his greatest fights took place outside the ring – in the Supreme Court.
In 1967, Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. was tried, convicted and sentenced to 5 years in prison and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine for refusing to serve in the military and evading the draft.
Changing his name to Muhammad Ali, he made 3 appeals to have his draft status changed because of his non-violent Muslim faith as a member of the Nation of Islam.
Due to the conviction, The New York State Athletic Commission and the World Boxing Association suspended his boxing license and stripped him of his heavyweight title.
He was no longer eligible to fight in the United States.
Finally, the US Supreme Court agreed to hear Ali’s case to determine if he was a legitimate conscientious objector. In April 1971, the court decided in a unanimous decision to overturn the conviction and declare Ali a winner in the case of Clay versus the United States.
Blood Brothers: The Friendship Between Muhammad Ali & Malcolm X
Though Ali’s conversion to Islam was a defining moment for the former heavyweight boxing champion, it was his friendship with El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (aka Malcolm X) that played a major role in forming the champ’s views and who he was.
From Amazon about Blood Brothers: The Fatal Friendship Between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm:
“In 1962, boxing writers and fans considered Cassius Clay an obnoxious self-promoter, and few believed that he would become the heavyweight champion of the world. But Malcolm X, the most famous minister in the Nation of Islam—a sect many white Americans deemed a hate cult—saw the potential in Clay, not just for boxing greatness, but as a means of spreading the Nation’s message. The two became fast friends, keeping their interactions secret from the press for fear of jeopardizing Clay’s career. Clay began living a double life—a patriotic “good Negro” in public, and a radical reformer behind the scenes. Soon, however, their friendship would sour, with disastrous and far-reaching consequences.”
During Tuesday’s edition of NewsOne Now, Roland Martin talked with the authors of Blood Brothers, Randy Roberts and Johnny Smith, Ph.D, about what they described in the title of their book as Ali and Malcolm’s “fatal friendship.”
Baltimore CopCaesar Goodson Requests Bench Trial
The Baltimore City police officer with the most serious charges in connection to Freddie Gray’s death will have a bench trial.
Caesar Goodson waived his right to a jury trial on Monday and his facing second-degree “depraved heart” murder, manslaughter, assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office charges.
Prosecutors say Goodson was driving when Gray suffered a severe spinal cord injury in the back of a police van last year. They say Goodson did not properly secure Gray, did not get him help for his injuries and was driving in an unsafe manner.
Goodson is the only officer facing the second-degree murder charge. His trial is set to begin on Thursday.
Will Democrats Unite Post-Primaries?
Tuesday marks the final multi-state primary before the Republican and Democratic national conventions. Voters in California, North Dakota, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota will head to the polls to voice their choice for the presidential nominees for their respective parties.
The Associated Press is reporting that Hillary Clinton already has reached the magic number of delegates to become the Democratic Party’s presumptive presidential nominee.
The former secretary of state is now the first woman ever to win the nomination of a major political party in the United States. Monday night, Clinton went over the top with a combination of pledged and superdelegate votes.
That brings her tally to 2,383 in the race against Bernie Sanders. But the Senator from Vermont is not giving in so easily.
Sanders is still hoping to make this year’s Democratic convention a contested one and has argued the system is rigged, all while attempting to convince superdelegates to come on his side.
All that and more in this edition of the NewsOne Now Audio Podcast.