Published On: Sat, Jun 11th, 2016

Best quotes from Ali memorial service

Actor Will Smith applauds during a public memorial service for the late boxer Muhammad Ali in Louisville June 10 2016 REUTERS Lucas Jackson

Actor Will Smith (C) applauds during a public memorial service for the late boxer Muhammad Ali in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S. June 10, 2016.

Louisville: The following are a selection of key quotes from Friday’s public memorial service honoring boxing legend Muhammad Ali, who died last week at age 74 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease:


“If Muhammad did not like the rules, he would rewrite them. His religion, his name, his beliefs, were his to fashion, no matter what the cost.”

— Ali’s wife Lonnie

Face of America

“Muhammad Ali was America. Muhammad Ali will always be America.”

— Senior presidential aide Valerie Jarrett, reading a tribute from President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle.


“He dared to love black people at a time when black people had a problem loving themselves.”

— Senior Pastor Kevin Cosby, St Stephen’s Baptist Church


“He may have been a tough man in the ring but he was a compassionate and tender man around those he loved.”

— Senator Orrin Hatch, speaking as a member of the Mormon faith

Heart of Louisville

“Muhammad Ali was the heart of this city — the living, breathing embodiment of the greatest that we can be.”

— Rabbi Joe Rapport

Friend of Malcolm X

“Having Muhammad Ali in my life somehow sustained my dad’s breath for me just a little while longer — 51 years longer until now.”

— Attallah Shabazz, daughter of slain Nation of Islam leader Malcolm X.

Conscientious objector

“At the key moment when he had that recognition, he used it to stand up to an immoral war and say, ‘No, I won’t go’.”

— Rabbi Michael Lerner, speaking about Ali’s refusal to serve in Vietnam

Read also: Thousands gather for Muslim funeral honouring Muhammad Ali


About the Author

Syed Ammar Alavi

- is Lahore (Pakistan) based journalist & writer with 25-year experience in print, wire and broadcast forms of journalism. His major fields of interest are politics, film,tv,sports, climate change and technology