The reactions and tributes to Muhammad Ali just keep pouring in one day after his death at the age of 74. It’s perhaps not all that surprising to see that Ali touched the lives of athletes like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Connor McGregor, and The Rock. However, it’s also important to remember that Ali’s greatness went far beyond the ring, and his social activism, philanthropy, and faith touched many more people than just sports fans that loved watching him fight.
One of those people is J.K. Rowling, and to honor Ali’s passing, the Harry Potter author took to Twitter to quote Ali’s 2004 memoir The Soul of a Butterfly.
Some on Twitter have pointed out that the message is edited somewhat to remove the references Ali made to being black and Muslim, so here is the full passage without edit from his memoir:
“I’ll tell you how I’d like to be remembered: as a black man who won the heavyweight title and was humorous and who treated everyone right. As a man who never looked down on those who looked up to him and who helped as many of his people as he could-financially and also in their fight for freedom, justice and equality. As a man who wouldn’t hurt his people’s dignity by doing anything that would embarass them. As a man who tried to unite his people through the faith of Islam that he found when he listened to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. And if all that is asking too much, then I guess I’d settle for being remembered only as a great boxing champion who became a preacher and champion of his people.
And I wouldn’t even mind if people forgot how pretty I was.”
One thing Rowling has right is that there is absolutely nobody who could say it better than Muhammad Ali himself.