Admin
June 4, 2016
[img]https://blacksnetwork.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/06/4ab8f68000065a5a6cd616e257a9754b_view.jpg[/img] Muhammad Ali, the eloquent, colorful, controversial and brilliant three-time heavyweight boxing champion who was known as much for his social conscience and staunch opposition to the Vietnam War as for his dazzling boxing skills, died Friday. Ali, who had a long battle with Parkinson's disease, was taken to a Phoenix area hospital earlier this week where he was being treated for a respiratory issue. He was 74. Once the most outrageous trash talker in sports, he was largely muted for the last quarter century of his life, quieted by a battle with Parkinson's. [img]https://blacksnetwork.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/06/852ef98063e71b9d074edd9bcf52e760_view.jpg[/img] Born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. on Jan. 17, 1942, in Louisville, Ky., Ali learned to box after his bicycle was stolen when he was 12 years old. When young Clay vowed to "whoop the behind" of the thief, a local police officer encouraged him to learn to box to channel his energy. He would go on to become known as "The Greatest," and at his peak in the 1970s was among the most recognizable faces on Earth. He was known for his tendency to recite poems while making predictions about his fights – "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. The hands can't hit what the eyes can't see." – as well as for giving opponents often unflattering nicknames. He referred to Sonny Liston as "the big ugly bear," George Chuvalo as "The Washerwoman," Floyd Patterson as "The Rabbit" and Earnie Shavers as "The Acorn." But his most controversial, and some would say cruel, nicknames were reserved for his fiercest rival, Joe Frazier. He first dubbed Frazier "Uncle Tom" and then later called him "The Gorilla." [img]https://blacksnetwork.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/06/c63233b38213f7b69a69892fd8de4b12_view.jpg[/img] When Ali prepared to meet Frazier for a third time in Manila, Philippines, on Oct. 1, 1975, he frequently carried a toy rubber gorilla with him. At one news conference, he pulled the gorilla out of his pocket and began punching it as he said, "It's going to be a killa and a thrilla and a chilla when I get the gorilla in Manila." Frazier, though, took it personally and harbored a decades-long grudge. "It sure did bother him," Gene Kilroy, Ali's friend for more than 50 years, told Yahoo Sports. Kilroy said Ali was simply promoting the fights and meant no harm, and said Ali regretted the impact his words had upon Frazier. "I used to tell Ali, 'Someday, me, you and Joe are going to be three old men sitting in the park laughing about all that [expletive],' " Kilroy recalled. "And Ali said, 'That would be great!' I talked to Joe and Joe said, 'No, [expletive] him. I don't want to be with him.' But he loosened up later and they mended fences." Not long before Frazier's death in 2011, he attended an autograph signing and memorabilia show in Las Vegas. Frazier grabbed a copy of an old Sports Illustrated magazine that had a photo of the two fighters and promoter Don King on the cover. "Man," he said, sounding wistful, "we gave the people some memories, me and Ali." Ali was at the peak of his professional powers after knocking out Zora Folley in New York on March 22, 1967. He battered Folley throughout and stopped him in the seventh. After the bout, Folley shared his thoughts with Sports Illustrated. "The right hands Ali hit me with just had no business landing – but they did. They came from nowhere," Folley said. "… He's smart. The trickiest fighter I've seen. He's had 29 fights and acts like he's had a hundred. He could write the book on boxing, and anyone that fights him should be made to read it first." Ali's boxing career came to a screeching halt after that fight. He'd refused induction into the U.S. Army because he stated he was a conscientious objector. Ali had converted to Islam in 1964 after the first of his two wins over Liston, and changed his name from Cassius Clay. He said Islam was a religion of peace and that he had no desire to engage in combat with those who'd done him or his family no harm. This all went down at the height of the civil rights movement. "Shoot them for what?" Ali asked in an interview after he refused induction. "They never called me nigger. They never lynched me. They never put dogs on me. They didn't rob me of my nationality, rape and kill my mother and father. What do I want to shoot them for, for what? Why do I want to go shoot them, poor little people and babies and children and women? How can I shoot them? Just take me to jail." [img]https://blacksnetwork.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/06/0976b33d9f47045f14c523768a53cfc9_view.jpg[/img] He went on trial in Houston on June 20, 1967. The jury deliberated for only 21 minutes before finding him guilty. He was fined $10,000, faced five years in jail and had his passport taken. He was stripped of the crown and deprived from making a living, but he wasn't silenced. Ali would go on a lecture circuit, speaking at colleges for as little as $1,500 and as much as $10,000. He desperately needed the money because he wasn't making a lot after being stripped and he was paying an expensive team of attorneys. Always conscious of his image, Ali joked in one interview that he couldn't allow people to see his car. "I didn't want people to see the world heavyweight champion driving a Volkswagen, while all them guys were driving their Cadillacs," he said. At first, there was a lot of tension in the crowds, as opposition to the Vietnam War had only just started. Gradually, though, Ali swung the crowds to his point of view as the country's opinion of the situation in Southeast Asia turned dramatically. Ali said that on one series of lectures he was set to make $1,500 a speech for talking to students at Canisius, Farleigh Dickinson and C.W. Post. He opened his wife's piggy bank and found, he said, $135, which he needed to buy gas and food for his trip. Kilroy said that whenever Ali was paid, the first thing he did was find a Western Union. "Whenever he'd get paid, he'd go send some money to his mother and father so they were OK and then he sent what was left to his wife and kids," Kilroy said. Despite his financial difficulties, Ali never lost the courage of his convictions. At one of his speeches, he insisted he had no regrets. While many tried to convince him of the errors of his ways, he remained steadfast and resolute. He told the crowd that sticking for his beliefs led him to come out on top. "There have been many questions put to me about why I refused to be inducted into the United States Army," Ali said in the speech to students. "Especially, as some have pointed out, as many have pointed out, when not taking the step I will lose so much. I would like to say to the press and those people who think I lost so much by not taking the step, I would like to say I didn't lose a thing up until this very moment. One thing, I have gained a lot. Number one, I have gained a peace of mind. I have gained a peace of heart. I now know I am content with almighty God himself, whose name is Allah. I have also gained the respect of everyone who is here today. "I have not only gained the respect of everyone who is here today, but worldwide. I have gained respect [from] people all over the world. By taking the step, I would have satisfied a few people who are pushing the war. Even if the wealth of America was given to me for taking the step, the friendship of all of the people who support the war, this would still be nothing [that would] content [me] internally." The Supreme Court would reverse Ali's conviction in 1971 by an 8-0 vote. But by then, Ali was already back in the ring. He actually returned from exile in 1970. Georgia didn't have an athletic commission and so he wasn't banned there. He faced Jerry Quarry on Oct. 26 in Atlanta, a fight Ali won via a third-round stoppage. After one more fight, a knockout of Oscar Bonavena in the 15th round, Ali was ready to face the undefeated Frazier. According to boxing promoter Bob Arum, the fight nearly took place in Las Vegas, with then-Nevada Governor Paul Laxalt endorsing the fight. "The bad luck was [when arranging the fight] we stayed at the Desert Inn," Arum told Yahoo Sports. The Desert Inn was owned by Moe Dalitz, a one-time bootlegger and racketeer who was the most powerful figure in Las Vegas. He was also a reputed mobster. Dalitz didn't care for Ali because he didn't serve in the war. He saw Arum and Conrad eating breakfast and asked Conrad why they were there. Dalitz went crazy, Arum said. "He said, 'I don't want that [expletive] draft dodger in this town,' " Arum said. " 'It's not good for the town.' " And so the biggest fight in history went not to Las Vegas but to New York a few months later. [img]https://blacksnetwork.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/06/be9a2e532ed1aebd00399124b8fcb022_view.jpg[/img] It was an epic night that featured scores of celebrities in the crowd. Frank Sinatra was a ringside photographer. Burt Lancaster did color commentary. It was an outstanding fight, but Frazier's pressure carried the day. He floored Ali in the 15th round with one of the most famous and perfectly executed left hooks in boxing history, sealing the fight. But Ali would have his days against Frazier, defeating him twice, in a non-title bout on Jan. 28, 1974, in New York, and for the heavyweight title in Manila on Oct. 1, 1975. That was a fight for the ages, remembered as one of a handful of the best in boxing history. Ali won by 14th-round stoppage when Frazier's trainer, Eddie Futch, asked referee Carlos Padilla to stop the fight. There has long been question about whether Angelo Dundee, then Ali's trainer, would have allowed Ali to go out for the 15th had Futch not stopped it. In his brilliant 2001 book, "Ghosts of Manila," Mark Kram wrote, "After the press conference, Joe retired to a private villa for rest. He had been sleeping for a couple of hours when George Benton entered with a visitor. The room was dark. 'Who is it?' Joe asked, lifting his head. 'I can't see. Can't see. Turn the lights on.' A light was turned on and he still could not see. Like Ali, he lay there with his veins empty, crushed by a will that had carried him so far and now surely too far. His eyes were iron gates torn up by an explosive. 'Man, I hit him with punches that bring down the walls of a city. What held him up?' He lowered his head for some abstract forgiveness. 'Goddamn it, when somebody going to understand? It wasn't justa fight. It was me and him. Not a fight.' " Ali wasn't nearly the same fighter after that. He'd taken a fearsome pounding in his second career, after his return from exile. His three fights with Frazier, his 1974 fight with George Foreman in Africa and his 1980 bout with Larry Holmes were particularly brutal. Ali's win over Foreman became known as "The Rumble in the Jungle," fought in then what was called Zaire and is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He employed his famous "Rope-A-Dope" strategy in that fight. Foreman was a fearsome opponent at the time, the hardest hitter in boxing with a 40-0 record and 39 knockouts. There were many sportswriters and boxing experts of the day who feared for Ali, such was Foreman's reputation at the time. "I thought I was going to go in there and just go out and go, 'Boom, boom, boom,' and hit him and get him out of there and then go home," Foreman told Yahoo Sports in 2014. "That was my mistake. This was Muhammad Ali. He was 'The Greatest,' and they called him that because he was, but he was also the smartest. He knew what to do. And he did a great job of it." Ali no longer had the foot speed or the elusiveness to dance away from Foreman as he'd done with Liston a decade earlier. Instead, he figured out the best strategy was to lay back against the ropes, lean back as far as he could, cover his face with his gloves and as much of his body as he could with his arms and let Foreman pound at him. Foreman obliged and threw crunching, punishing shots. Ali took them and waited until Foreman became so tired he could no longer raise his arms. When he couldn't, Ali struck back and knocked out Foreman in the eighth round in the most remarkable upset of his career. "It was my honor to get beaten up by that man," Foreman said, chuckling, in 2014. "I hated him at the time, because I didn't understand. But we grew to love each other. I love him like a brother." Ali slowed down even more after the win over Frazier and never again looked like the electric, blazing-fast athlete he'd been years earlier. "Nobody would have beaten Ali prior to the three-and-a-half years he lost [objecting to the Vietnam War]," Arum, who has promoted boxing for 50 years, told Yahoo Sports. "Nobody, and I mean nobody, could have come close to him. He was as fast and as elusive as Sugar Ray Robinson and Sugar Ray Leonard, and he was a heavyweight. His punching power was way better than people gave him credit for, but you never saw it a lot in those days because he was up on his toes moving." [img]https://blacksnetwork.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/06/c7ee2d47378ae059d60306133496d999_view.jpg[/img] Muhammad Ali, simply 'The Greatest,' dead at 74 Kevin Iole,Yahoo Sports 13 hours ago Comments Sign in to like Reblog on Tumblr Share Tweet Email What is the greatest Game 7 in history? Yahoo Sports Videos Scroll back up to restore default view. Muhammad Ali, the eloquent, colorful, controversial and brilliant three-time heavyweight boxing champion who was known as much for his social conscience and staunch opposition to the Vietnam War as for his dazzling boxing skills, died Friday. Ali, who had a long battle with Parkinson's disease, was taken to a Phoenix area hospital earlier this week where he was being treated for a respiratory issue. He was 74. Once the most outrageous trash talker in sports, he was largely muted for the last quarter century of his life, quieted by a battle with Parkinson's. Born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. on Jan. 17, 1942, in Louisville, Ky., Ali learned to box after his bicycle was stolen when he was 12 years old. When young Clay vowed to "whoop the behind" of the thief, a local police officer encouraged him to learn to box to channel his energy. He would go on to become known as "The Greatest," and at his peak in the 1970s was among the most recognizable faces on Earth. He was known for his tendency to recite poems while making predictions about his fights – "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. The hands can't hit what the eyes can't see." – as well as for giving opponents often unflattering nicknames. He referred to Sonny Liston as "the big ugly bear," George Chuvalo as "The Washerwoman," Floyd Patterson as "The Rabbit" and Earnie Shavers as "The Acorn." But his most controversial, and some would say cruel, nicknames were reserved for his fiercest rival, Joe Frazier. He first dubbed Frazier "Uncle Tom" and then later called him "The Gorilla." [Slideshow: Muhammad Ali's life in photos] When Ali prepared to meet Frazier for a third time in Manila, Philippines, on Oct. 1, 1975, he frequently carried a toy rubber gorilla with him. At one news conference, he pulled the gorilla out of his pocket and began punching it as he said, "It's going to be a killa and a thrilla and a chilla when I get the gorilla in Manila." Frazier, though, took it personally and harbored a decades-long grudge. "It sure did bother him," Gene Kilroy, Ali's friend for more than 50 years, told Yahoo Sports. Kilroy said Ali was simply promoting the fights and meant no harm, and said Ali regretted the impact his words had upon Frazier. "I used to tell Ali, 'Someday, me, you and Joe are going to be three old men sitting in the park laughing about all that [expletive],' " Kilroy recalled. "And Ali said, 'That would be great!' I talked to Joe and Joe said, 'No, [expletive] him. I don't want to be with him.' But he loosened up later and they mended fences." Not long before Frazier's death in 2011, he attended an autograph signing and memorabilia show in Las Vegas. Frazier grabbed a copy of an old Sports Illustrated magazine that had a photo of the two fighters and promoter Don King on the cover. "Man," he said, sounding wistful, "we gave the people some memories, me and Ali." Ali was at the peak of his professional powers after knocking out Zora Folley in New York on March 22, 1967. He battered Folley throughout and stopped him in the seventh. After the bout, Folley shared his thoughts with Sports Illustrated. "The right hands Ali hit me with just had no business landing – but they did. They came from nowhere," Folley said. "… He's smart. The trickiest fighter I've seen. He's had 29 fights and acts like he's had a hundred. He could write the book on boxing, and anyone that fights him should be made to read it first." Ali's boxing career came to a screeching halt after that fight. He'd refused induction into the U.S. Army because he stated he was a conscientious objector. Ali had converted to Islam in 1964 after the first of his two wins over Liston, and changed his name from Cassius Clay. He said Islam was a religion of peace and that he had no desire to engage in combat with those who'd done him or his family no harm. This all went down at the height of the civil rights movement. "Shoot them for what?" Ali asked in an interview after he refused induction. "They never called me nigger. They never lynched me. They never put dogs on me. They didn't rob me of my nationality, rape and kill my mother and father. What do I want to shoot them for, for what? Why do I want to go shoot them, poor little people and babies and children and women? How can I shoot them? Just take me to jail." Muhammad Ali arrives at the Veterans building to appeal his 1A draft classification. (AP) He went on trial in Houston on June 20, 1967. The jury deliberated for only 21 minutes before finding him guilty. He was fined $10,000, faced five years in jail and had his passport taken. He was stripped of the crown and deprived from making a living, but he wasn't silenced. Ali would go on a lecture circuit, speaking at colleges for as little as $1,500 and as much as $10,000. He desperately needed the money because he wasn't making a lot after being stripped and he was paying an expensive team of attorneys. Always conscious of his image, Ali joked in one interview that he couldn't allow people to see his car. "I didn't want people to see the world heavyweight champion driving a Volkswagen, while all them guys were driving their Cadillacs," he said. At first, there was a lot of tension in the crowds, as opposition to the Vietnam War had only just started. Gradually, though, Ali swung the crowds to his point of view as the country's opinion of the situation in Southeast Asia turned dramatically. Ali said that on one series of lectures he was set to make $1,500 a speech for talking to students at Canisius, Farleigh Dickinson and C.W. Post. He opened his wife's piggy bank and found, he said, $135, which he needed to buy gas and food for his trip. Kilroy said that whenever Ali was paid, the first thing he did was find a Western Union. "Whenever he'd get paid, he'd go send some money to his mother and father so they were OK and then he sent what was left to his wife and kids," Kilroy said. Despite his financial difficulties, Ali never lost the courage of his convictions. At one of his speeches, he insisted he had no regrets. While many tried to convince him of the errors of his ways, he remained steadfast and resolute. He told the crowd that sticking for his beliefs led him to come out on top. "There have been many questions put to me about why I refused to be inducted into the United States Army," Ali said in the speech to students. "Especially, as some have pointed out, as many have pointed out, when not taking the step I will lose so much. I would like to say to the press and those people who think I lost so much by not taking the step, I would like to say I didn't lose a thing up until this very moment. One thing, I have gained a lot. Number one, I have gained a peace of mind. I have gained a peace of heart. I now know I am content with almighty God himself, whose name is Allah. I have also gained the respect of everyone who is here today. "I have not only gained the respect of everyone who is here today, but worldwide. I have gained respect [from] people all over the world. By taking the step, I would have satisfied a few people who are pushing the war. Even if the wealth of America was given to me for taking the step, the friendship of all of the people who support the war, this would still be nothing [that would] content [me] internally." The Supreme Court would reverse Ali's conviction in 1971 by an 8-0 vote. But by then, Ali was already back in the ring. He actually returned from exile in 1970. Georgia didn't have an athletic commission and so he wasn't banned there. He faced Jerry Quarry on Oct. 26 in Atlanta, a fight Ali won via a third-round stoppage. After one more fight, a knockout of Oscar Bonavena in the 15th round, Ali was ready to face the undefeated Frazier. According to boxing promoter Bob Arum, the fight nearly took place in Las Vegas, with then-Nevada Governor Paul Laxalt endorsing the fight. "The bad luck was [when arranging the fight] we stayed at the Desert Inn," Arum told Yahoo Sports. The Desert Inn was owned by Moe Dalitz, a one-time bootlegger and racketeer who was the most powerful figure in Las Vegas. He was also a reputed mobster. Dalitz didn't care for Ali because he didn't serve in the war. He saw Arum and Conrad eating breakfast and asked Conrad why they were there. Dalitz went crazy, Arum said. "He said, 'I don't want that [expletive] draft dodger in this town,' " Arum said. " 'It's not good for the town.' " And so the biggest fight in history went not to Las Vegas but to New York a few months later. Joe Frazier, left, hits Muhammad Ali during the 15th round of their 1971 title fight. (AP) It was an epic night that featured scores of celebrities in the crowd. Frank Sinatra was a ringside photographer. Burt Lancaster did color commentary. It was an outstanding fight, but Frazier's pressure carried the day. He floored Ali in the 15th round with one of the most famous and perfectly executed left hooks in boxing history, sealing the fight. But Ali would have his days against Frazier, defeating him twice, in a non-title bout on Jan. 28, 1974, in New York, and for the heavyweight title in Manila on Oct. 1, 1975. That was a fight for the ages, remembered as one of a handful of the best in boxing history. Ali won by 14th-round stoppage when Frazier's trainer, Eddie Futch, asked referee Carlos Padilla to stop the fight. There has long been question about whether Angelo Dundee, then Ali's trainer, would have allowed Ali to go out for the 15th had Futch not stopped it. In his brilliant 2001 book, "Ghosts of Manila," Mark Kram wrote, "After the press conference, Joe retired to a private villa for rest. He had been sleeping for a couple of hours when George Benton entered with a visitor. The room was dark. 'Who is it?' Joe asked, lifting his head. 'I can't see. Can't see. Turn the lights on.' A light was turned on and he still could not see. Like Ali, he lay there with his veins empty, crushed by a will that had carried him so far and now surely too far. His eyes were iron gates torn up by an explosive. 'Man, I hit him with punches that bring down the walls of a city. What held him up?' He lowered his head for some abstract forgiveness. 'Goddamn it, when somebody going to understand? It wasn't justa fight. It was me and him. Not a fight.' " Ali wasn't nearly the same fighter after that. He'd taken a fearsome pounding in his second career, after his return from exile. His three fights with Frazier, his 1974 fight with George Foreman in Africa and his 1980 bout with Larry Holmes were particularly brutal. Ali's win over Foreman became known as "The Rumble in the Jungle," fought in then what was called Zaire and is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He employed his famous "Rope-A-Dope" strategy in that fight. Foreman was a fearsome opponent at the time, the hardest hitter in boxing with a 40-0 record and 39 knockouts. There were many sportswriters and boxing experts of the day who feared for Ali, such was Foreman's reputation at the time. "I thought I was going to go in there and just go out and go, 'Boom, boom, boom,' and hit him and get him out of there and then go home," Foreman told Yahoo Sports in 2014. "That was my mistake. This was Muhammad Ali. He was 'The Greatest,' and they called him that because he was, but he was also the smartest. He knew what to do. And he did a great job of it." Ali no longer had the foot speed or the elusiveness to dance away from Foreman as he'd done with Liston a decade earlier. Instead, he figured out the best strategy was to lay back against the ropes, lean back as far as he could, cover his face with his gloves and as much of his body as he could with his arms and let Foreman pound at him. Foreman obliged and threw crunching, punishing shots. Ali took them and waited until Foreman became so tired he could no longer raise his arms. When he couldn't, Ali struck back and knocked out Foreman in the eighth round in the most remarkable upset of his career. "It was my honor to get beaten up by that man," Foreman said, chuckling, in 2014. "I hated him at the time, because I didn't understand. But we grew to love each other. I love him like a brother." Ali slowed down even more after the win over Frazier and never again looked like the electric, blazing-fast athlete he'd been years earlier. "Nobody would have beaten Ali prior to the three-and-a-half years he lost [objecting to the Vietnam War]," Arum, who has promoted boxing for 50 years, told Yahoo Sports. "Nobody, and I mean nobody, could have come close to him. He was as fast and as elusive as Sugar Ray Robinson and Sugar Ray Leonard, and he was a heavyweight. His punching power was way better than people gave him credit for, but you never saw it a lot in those days because he was up on his toes moving." After the Frazier fight, Ali became a personality as much as an athlete. He appeared on CBS' "Face the Nation" in 1976 during the Ford-Carter presidential race. He was asked whom he favored, and he declined to answer, saying he didn't know enough and didn't want to influence people who followed him and would vote for whomever he would say. He officially retired from boxing in 1981 after a unanimous decision loss to Trevor Berbick, ending his career with a 55-5 record. He remains the only three-time lineal heavyweight champion, having won titles in 1964, '74 and '78. As he aged, Ali began to think of his role in the world and what he could do to improve it. And he talked on "Face the Nation" about his desire to do charitable acts. "We only have so many hours a day to do what we have to do, so many years to live, and in those years, we sleep about eight hours a day," Ali sad. "We travel. We watch television. If a man is 50 years old, he's lucky if he's actually had 20 years to actually live. So I would like to do the best I can for humanity. "I'm blessed by God to be recognized as the most famous face on the Earth today. And I cannot think of nothing better than helping God's creatures or helping poverty or good causes where I can use my name to do so." In a 1975 interview with Playboy that was released around the time of his third fight with Frazier, he spoke of how his view of the world had changed. He said it was his responsibility to take advantage of his notoriety by helping his fellow man. "You listen up and maybe I'll make you as famous as I made Howard Cosell," he said in the Playboy interview. "Wars on nations are fought to change maps, but wars on poverty are fought to map change. The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life. "These are words of wisdom, so pay attention, Mr. Playboy. The man who has no imagination stands on the Earth. He has no wings, he cannot fly. When we are right, no one remembers, but when we are wrong, no one forgets." Kilroy, King and Arum said they knew of many charitable acts Ali had done. Kilroy said Ali, who was the most popular athlete in the world for years and commanded attention everywhere he went, would always be willing to do charitable acts, but said he didn't want cameras or reporters around because he didn't want anyone to think he was doing it for the publicity. In 1973, for example, Ali learned that a home for elderly Jewish people was going to close because it was out of money. "I'll never forget that night," Kilroy said. "It was a cold January night and we saw it on the news. Ali really paid attention to it and you could tell it bothered him, that all these people were going to be put out. They had nowhere to go. He told me to find out where it was, so I called the TV station and got the address. "We drove over there and walked in and some guy comes up to me. I said, 'We're looking for the man in charge. Where is he?' And the guy says, 'I am. What do you want?' And Ali tells him he wants to help. He wrote him a check for $200,000 and tells him to put it in the bank that night. And then he writes another check for $200,000 and tells him to wait four days, because he has to get home and put some more money in the bank to cover the check." [img]https://blacksnetwork.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/06/26dfdfc856229a7c4062e1c75cbcadc9_view.jpg[/img] In 1990, shortly before the first Gulf War between the U.S. and Iraq, he flew to Baghdad to speak with Saddam Hussein to secure the release of 15 U.S. hostages. Hussein agreed to release the hostages. For the rest of his life Ali worked to promote the cause of peace and charity. In December 2015, he condemned ISIS and took a shot at Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (without mentioning Trump's name) when Trump suggested temporarily banning all Muslims from entering the U.S. After the terrorist shootings in San Bernardino, Ali released a statement through his publicist. The headline said, "Statement From Muhammad Ali Regarding Presidential Candidates Proposing to Ban Muslim Immigration to the United States." "I am a Muslim and there is nothing Islamic about killing innocent people in Paris, San Bernardino or anywhere else in the world," Ali said in the statement. "True Muslims know that the ruthless violence of so-called Islamic Jihadists goes against the very tenets of our religion. "We as Muslims have to stand up to those who use Islam to advance their own personal agenda. They have alienated many from learning about Islam. True Muslims know or should know that it goes against our religion to try and force Islam on anybody. "Speaking as someone who has never been accused of political correctness, I believe that our political leaders should use their position to bring understanding about the religion of Islam and clarify that these misguided murderers have perverted people's views on what Islam really is." It's the last major public statement Muhammad Ali ever made.

Admin
December 16, 2015


It was easy to look upon Michael Jordan as a Grinch of sorts in his lawsuit against the Jewel/ Osco and Dominick’s brand of grocery stores. At least one good thing – or 23 good things – has come of the $8.9 million a judge awarded the former Chicago Bulls legend.

The now-defunct chain, which inserted a Jordan-themed tribute ad in Sports Illustarted that featured $2 off Dominick’s steaks in 2009 in response to Jordan’s induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame, will pay out the entirety of its settlement cash to 23 different non-profit organizations in the Chicagoland area.

Following what Jordan has to pay off to his legal representatives.

From the Chicago Tribune:

Jordan's spokeswoman Estee Portnoy on Tuesday declined to state the size of the donations to 23 charities including After School Matters, Casa Central and the Greater Chicago Food Depository, citing the confidential terms of the settlement with Dominick's and Jewel-Osco.
[…]
But even after Jordan paid the attorneys who waged a six-year court battle after both supermarkets used Jordan's name without permission in a 2009 issue of Sports Illustrated that commemorated Jordan's elevation to the basketball Hall of Fame, there were still millions of dollars left over to donate on Tuesday, sources said.
"I care deeply about the city of Chicago and have such incredible memories from my years there," Jordan said in a news release. "The 23 charities I've chosen to make donations to all support the health, education and well-being of the kids of Chicago. Chicago has given me so much and I want to give back to its kids — the city's future."
[…]
Portnoy said Tuesday that Jordan's staff had "a fun week" calling the recipients of Jordan's donations, which also included Chicago Scholars, Chicago Youth Programs, Children's Literacy Initiative, Christopher House, Common Threads, Erikson Institute, Gary Comer Youth Center, Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund — Illinois, KEEN Chicago, La Casa Norte, La Rabida Children's Hospital, Make-A-Wish Illinois, New Moms, New Teacher Center, The Ounce of Prevention Fund, Project Exploration, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Sinai Health System, SOS Children's Villages Illinois and Tutoring Chicago.


Jordan first levied the lawsuit in 2009. According to the chain, just two different people actually used the discount in a transaction, hardly a massive advertising coup for Jewel/Osco and Dominick’s and completely understandable given the fact that the ad was carried in a commemorative issue of Sports Illustrated – a collector’s item that fans were loathe to cut up in order to take in some late summer savings.



Even dumber on Dominick’s part? They put the coupon on the inside cover of the magazine, meaning Jordan fans had to cut off the lower part of a one-off publication in order to save those two bucks.

For some that are mindful of the fact that Jordan lords over his Jordan Brand empire and a Charlotte Hornets team that is worth hundreds of millions of dollars, his decision to sue the grocery chain came off as callous and needless. Especially for those of us that are Chicago natives, also mindful of another fact – the Dominick’s stores that we grew up walking around are no more, thanks in small (very small) part to this lawsuit.

Once one steps back, though, it’s more than understandable that Jordan would want to set a precedent here.

Dominick’s did not place that ad in Sports Illustrated to draw customers in to buy discounted steaks. They did as much in order to align themselves with Jordan’s lower-case “brand,” and his accomplishments. By putting an approximation of his famous Jumpman logo on an ad, they posited that this was an unofficial endorsement of sorts. That Jordan, who hasn’t played a game for the Bulls since 1998 and has mostly moved away from the city that he called home for a couple of decades, was still associated with your local grocer.

Greedy, on Jordan’s part, even with the nod toward charity? Perhaps. He’s still well within his right to have the final say on whatever companies (which include two other steak-related endorsement brands) his image is aligned with. Companies for decades have been placing “hey, congrats on your career, slugger!” ads in all manner of programs, billboards, magazines and newspapers; but when a company also uses the ad to offer an incentive to buy their product, things tend to change a bit. Legally, if not morally.

Jordan at least helped assuage those concerns by giving that settlement money away to associations that need it far more than a former grocery conglomerate.

By: Kelly Dwyer
Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports.

Admin
August 24, 2015


The 2009 Dominick's advertisement that resulted in a lawsuit.

It took Michael Jordan nearly six years, but he's finally come out victorious in the long-running Chicago court case over the use of his identity without permission in a grocery store advertisement.

A jury of Jordan's peers — ha! — ruled Friday in favor of the Chicago Bulls legend and Charlotte Hornets owner, ordering a grocery-store chain to pay the Hall of Famer $8.9 million for the unapproved and unlicensed use of his name in an ad. The decision brings an end to a legal action that actually outlived the supermarket that ran the ad in a special edition of Sports Illustrated commemorating His Airness' enshrinement in Springfield, Mass.

As we laid out a couple of summers ago, the beef stems from steak:

When Jordan was elected into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009, and prior to the wildly inappropriate speech he gave in the induction ceremonies, local Chicago grocery chain Dominick’s released an ad congratulating Jordan on his accomplishment, while pointing out that, while you’re at it, you can use your Dominick’s card or a coupon in the ad to take in the tasty two dollar savings on a “Rancher’s Reserve Steak.”



Jordan found out about it and decided to sue Dominick's for $5 million. The real kicker for Safeway, which bought Dominick's in 1998 for $1.2 billion, comes courtesy of ESPN.com's Darren Rovell:

In addition, the ad itself was of little benefit to the company. Since the ad was in a commemorative Sports Illustrated issue, those who bought the magazine were hesitant to tear out the ad. Only two people were found to have redeemed the $2 steak coupon.

Not exactly a killer return on investment, there.

While one judge took Jordan to task for attempting to make a "legal mountain" from a "legal molehill" by calling for Safeway, the parent company of the now-defunct Dominick's chain, it always seemed that the case had merit. Dominick's did use Michael Jordan's name without his permission in an ad aimed at selling discounted steaks; it stands to reason that this would irk M.J., considering he's already in the business of selling his own steaks.

Plus, as our Eric Freeman noted earlier this week, "the chain does not deny wrongdoing," meaning the main matter left to resolve was how much money to award Jordan. From Michael Tarm of The Associated Press:

Steven Mandell, the Dominick's attorney, [...] said Jordan's attorneys overvalued their client's name, saying jurors should award Jordan no more than $126,900.
Evidence presented during trial provided a peek at Jordan's extraordinary wealth, including the $480 million he made from Nike alone between 2000 to 2012.


That evidence included testimony from sports economist Andrew Zimbalist, who pegged the "fair market value" of Jordan's identity at about $10 million per business deal. That squared with the testimony of Estee Portnoy, the marketing executive who's been described as Jordan's "consigliere" and "the buffer between Jordan and the world", and who said Jordan will not do business with anyone unless the deal will ultimately be worth more than $10 million. (Subsequent answers, however, indicated that M.J. occasionally makes exceptions to that platinum rule.)

After six hours of deliberation, the jurors settled on a figure far closer to Jordan's $10 million asking price than Safeway's sub-$150,000 figure; at one point, according to Tarm, they sent a note to the judge reading, "We need a calculator." Those zeroes sure do add up, after all.

The mammoth award apparently won't be added to the top of billionaire Jordan's Scrooge McDuck vault, though. More from Rovell:

"I'm pleased with today's verdict," Jordan said in a statement. "No one — whether or not they're a public figure — should have to worry about their identity being used without their permission. The case was not about the money as I plan to donate the proceeds to charity. It was about honesty and integrity. I hope this case sends a clear message, both here in the United States and around the world, that I will continue to be vigilant about protecting my name and identity. I also hope the size of the monetary reward will deter others from using someone else's identity and believe they will only pay a small penalty."

If nothing else, it certainly gives Jordan and his representatives encouragement to continue their concerted efforts to protect M.J.'s brand, image and likeness from those who might look to leverage those valuable assets for their own benefit.

Jordan recently lost a trademark lawsuit against a Chinese footwear company he claimed was using a name and logo similar to his Nike brand, but he's still got one big iron in the fire: a suit filed at the same time as the one against Dominick's, calling Jewel Food Stores to task for running a similar ad featuring a pair of Air Jordan basketball sneakers with Jordan's number 23 on the tongues, juxtaposed with a congratulatory message capped with Jewel's "just around the corner" slogan.

That case has also wended its way through the courts for more than a half-decade, and is scheduled to go to trial in December. Depending on how quickly things move, that could mean a very happy holiday season for more Chicago-area charities.

By: Dan Devine

Admin
January 4, 2015


Any sports fan of a certain age will always remember Stuart Scott's catchphrases.

Scott died at age 49 after a long battle with cancer, ESPN reported on Sunday morning. That sad news brought an outpouring of grief and memories from sports fans who will remember Scott as one of the most memorable and influential "SportsCenter" anchors in ESPN's long history.

When Scott first appeared on ESPN's networks a little more than two decades ago, joining the company in 1993 for its launch of ESPN2, his unique style was an instant hit. He became famous for phrases like "Boo-yah!" and "cool as the other side of the pillow." Despite becoming one of the most famous names at the network, people who knew him spoke of how gracious, friendly and down-to-earth he was.

The messages that filled social media on Sunday, including many from the NFL community (Scott hosted ESPN's pre- and post-game shows for "Monday Night Football" for many years) reflected the man Scott was.



Admin
September 15, 2013

Basketball player LeBron James married Savannah Brinson on September 14, 2013

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- LeBron James has another ring.

The Miami Heat star married Savannah Brinson at the posh Grand Del Mar Hotel in San Diego on Saturday, according to two people familiar with the details of the ceremony.

About 200 guests were present for the ceremony, said one of the people, both of whom spoke on condition of anonymity because the wedding was private and the couple had yet to release any details. The ceremony was the highlight of a three-day celebration that will conclude with a brunch on Sunday.

James and Brinson, 27, have been together since high school and have two sons. James, 28, proposed just after midnight on Jan. 1, 2012 in Miami Beach, flanked then by many of his teammates - just as he was again Saturday night for his wedding.

Intense security measures surrounded the wedding, and even some of the invited guests were unclear on some specific details in the days leading up to the long-awaited event that came less than three months after James and the Heat won their second straight NBA title.

Fantasy Football Signup
Guests were ushered into the wedding areas under the cover of tents, and television footage taken by news helicopters showed that even umbrellas were used to protect the identity of those arriving. Heat owner Micky Arison, coach Erik Spoelstra and many of James' teammates including Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh were on the guest list.

And while some with ties to James, such as Wade and his actress girlfriend Gabrielle Union, tweeted that they were in the San Diego area for a wedding, none released any details Saturday night - since one of the many rules of the wedding was believed to be that no phones would be allowed.

Brinson spoke briefly with AP about the wedding last spring, saying she was both excited and nervous. James has only discussed the wedding in general terms, once describing his role as only to ensure ''that Savannah gets whatever she wants on her day, the wedding day she always dreamed of.''

James, a four-time NBA Most Valuable Player, and the Heat will open training camp next month. In June, they outlasted the San Antonio Spurs in seven games to capture the championship.



---

AP Sports Writers Tim Reynolds and Tim Sullivan contributed to this report.

Admin
July 8, 2013


Lamar Odom could be staying in Los Angeles for next season, but it might not be with the Clippers. The 33-year-old has reportedly gained the interest of his former team which could lead to a reunion with Kobe Bryant.

According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles, the Lakers have reached out to Odom though their interest in the player is still unknown.

Times have been rough in Los Angeles this past week as Dwight Howard decided to take his talents to the Houston Rockets. A move for Odom surely won’t fill the void left by Howard, but it could bring back a vital piece to the team’s string of NBA championships in the recent past.

Odom won back-to-back rings with the Lakers in 2009 and 2010, but his role with the team vanished by 2011 before he was traded to the Dallas Mavericks. Since the trade, Odom was dealt again in 2012 to the Los Angeles Clippers.

Lamar Odom was very popular among Lakers’ fans and bringing him back seems to be a legitimate possibility. Kobe Bryant wants another ring or two and he’ll need all the support he can get.

Odom is a solid shooter who’s worked well with Bryant in the past. His game has fallen off little by little over the years, but age is never an issue in the playoffs.

The more experience the better and Odom is certainly no stranger to big games. The Lakers need to make a splash in the free agent market this offseason and bringing in their former star would add another piece to the puzzle.

Last season, Odom appeared in all 82 games for the Clippers. He finished with an average of four points a game, which is the lowest of his career.

His numbers over the past few seasons may push the Lakers away, but the thought of a return is quickly picking up steam.

Could you see Lamar Odom back with the Los Angeles Lakers next season?

Admin
May 3, 2013

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, right, and his wife Vanessa Bryant

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- Kobe Bryant is in a court battle to try to keep his mother from auctioning off mementoes from his high school days in Pennsylvania and his early years with the Los Angeles Lakers.

A New Jersey auction house filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Camden on Thursday for the right to sell the stuff after the NBA star's lawyers wrote the firm telling it to cancel a planned June auction.

The disagreement is a high-value, high-profile version of a question many families face: Can Mom get rid of the stuff a grown child left at home?

In this case, the 900 mementoes happen to be worth upward of $1.5 million.

Among the first 100 or so items Pamela Bryant intends to sell: the NBA star's jerseys, practice gear and sweatsuits from Lower Merion High School; varsity letters; a trophy for being the outstanding player at the 1995 Adidas ABCD basketball camp; and a signed basketball from the 2000 NBA championship game.

And then there are rings, for the 1996 Pennsylvania high school championship, a pair that the Lakers made for Bryant's parents for the 2000 NBA championship and one from the 1998 NBA All-Star game.

According to court filings, Pamela Bryant struck a deal in January with Goldin Auctions in Berlin, N.J., which earlier this year sold a rare Honus Wagner baseball card for a record $2.1 million.

She got $450,000 up front, which she intended to use for a new home in Nevada.

In its court filings, Goldin says Pamela Bryant told the auction house that she asked her son five years ago what he wanted to do with the items that were in her home.

"Kobe Bryant indicated to Pamela Bryant that the items belonged to her and that he had no interest in them," the auction house's attorneys wrote. So she put them in a $1,500-per-month New Jersey storage unit.

The challenge came Tuesday when Goldin sent a news release announcing the auction. By day's end, Kobe Bryant's lawyer had sent a cease-and-desist letter telling the auction house to call off the sale and return the items to him.

Kenneth Goldin, owner of the auction house, says he can't cancel the auction because he's already advanced $450,000 to Bryant's mother and put money into advertising the auction.

Kobe Bryant's lawyer Mark Campbell said in a statement, "Mr. Bryant's personal property has ended up in the possession of someone who does not lawfully own it. We look forward to resolving this legal matter through the legal system."

Bryant has had a sometimes icy relationship with his mother and father, Joe "Jellybean" Bryant, a former pro basketball player who is now coaching in Thailand.
___

By Geoff Mulvihill, Associated Press

Admin
March 12, 2013


ATLANTA (Reuters) - Lawyers for an Atlanta woman who says basketball legend Michael Jordan is the father of her 16-year-old son asked a judge Tuesday to order Jordan to immediately take a DNA test.

Pamela Smith, 48, filed a paternity suit against Jordan last month seeking child support. Jordan denies he is the father of the child and has also filed a counterclaim seeking sanctions against Smith for making false claims.

Smith acknowledged in a divorce proceeding that her now ex-husband is the father of the child, according to Jordan's lawyers.

"It is unfortunate that well known figures are the target of these kind of claims," Jordan's spokeswoman, Estee Portnoy, said in a statement.

However, Smith attorney Randy Kessler said Tuesday that a simple $300 (201 pounds) saliva test will prove or disprove the paternity question.

In a court filing Tuesday, Kessler asked Fulton County Superior Court Judge Wendy Shoob to order Jordan to submit to "immediate genetic testing." There was no immediate ruling from Shoob following a 20-minute hearing Tuesday in the judge's chambers, Kessler said.

"My son has the right to know who his father is," Smith told reporters after the hearing. "He has had an issue with it over the years."

If Jordan is ordered to pay child support it would only be for about two years until the 16-year-old graduates from high school, Kessler said.

"If this was about money, she would have filed suit 10 years ago," the attorney said.
Jordan's attorney, John Mayoue, declined to comment following Tuesday's hearing. Jordan himself did not attend the hearing.

Jordan, 50, is widely hailed as the best basketball player of all time and was a member of six NBA championship teams with the Chicago Bulls. He is majority owner of the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats team.

By David Beasley

Admin
March 2, 2013

James of the Miami Heat will get $1 million US from Magic Johnson if he enters the next NBA all-star dunk competition.

Magic Johnson is giving LeBron James a million reasons to consider the slam dunk contest.

The Hall of Famer says Friday during ESPN's pregame show that he will put up $1 million US if James finally enters the marquee event of All-Star Saturday night.

James has always refused to enter the contest, but he's recently been putting on a dunking show before Miami's games, reigniting interest in seeing him take part.

Johnson says: "Please LeBron, get in the dunk contest. I'm going to put up a million dollars. A million dollars to LeBron. Please get in the dunk contest. I go every year. I want to see you out there. A million to the winner."

The NBA currently pays $100,000 to the winner and $50,000 to the runner-up.

Admin
February 28, 2013


Michael Jordan bought a lakefront home in North Carolina for $2.8 million, giving the NBA Hall of Famer a place to crash when he’s checking in on his team.

The new lakefront home is about 22 miles from uptown Charlotte, where the Bobcats play their home games (Jordan is a part owner). The 12,310-square-foot home in Cornelius has six bedrooms and eight bathrooms, The Associated Press reported. Its listing also noted that it has a stunning panoramic lake views from almost every room.”

Michael Jordan won’t have to stray far from his new lakefront home to enjoy one of his other favorite pasttimes. Located on Lake Norman, his new mansion is actually on the seventh hole of The Peninsula Golf Club.

The home had been in foreclosure, and was purchased February 19 by the Jordan Family Gift Trust from First Community Bank.

It appears that Jordan is stockpiling luxury homes now. He’s already got another spacious condo in Charlotte, and last year he finished building a 28,000-square-foot estate in Jupiter, Florida. The mansion comes complete with a full-size home theater that has special equipment to accommodate cigar smoke, TMZ reported.

Real estate website Zillow gave some details of Jordan’s Florida mansion back in 2010:

“Plus, the great one will be further hidden behind a wall of trees. Jordan reportedly purchased multiple lots for $4.8 million (below). Combined with construction and furnishings, Lichtenstein claims this estate will run Jordan northward of $20 million, making it the ‘ … most expensive non-waterfront home in the Palm Beaches.’ “

Michael Jordan’s new lakefront home could mean that there is a new epicenter of the NBA great’s basketball universe. Though he will always be associated with Chicago, where he led the Bulls to six championships, Jordan recently decided to sell his mansion there.