A month ago, Egyptian artist Mohamed Salam came out in a video on his personal account to apologize for participating in the Riyadh entertainment season, explaining that he cannot present a comedy whose purpose is to entertain viewers, while Gaza is subjected to daily bombing without mercy.
You may disagree with Salam's position or agree with it, which of course makes sense. But in any case, you cannot describe what he did except that it was an honest position resulting from a true conviction and belief that a person must have the ability to refuse in the face of everyone in a way that is consistent with his convictions, issues, and principles.
Salam did not only take this position under the influence of temporary sympathy, but he most likely knew very well the criticism and attacks he would face following this position. This supports that he did not retract or comment on the events that followed, but there is conclusive evidence that this man was well aware of what he was doing. He was wearing a T-shirt bearing the picture of “Muhammad Ali Clay”!
You may see the matter as exaggerated, you may think that it is just a coincidence, but before you decide this, you must first understand the symbolism of Muhammad Ali Clay with regard to the ability to reject and bear the consequences, and perhaps then you will believe that Clay is the most important symbol and the greatest athlete of all time. Let's start with an inevitable comparison made in the past that explains everything to us.
Clay: For your name to be brought up and the justifiers to remain silent
“Pele” appears in the Netflix documentary that bears his name after his return to Brazil for the third World Cup, and he is proud, happy, and dressed next to the dictator “Emilio Medici.” This is the man who is accused of torturing and killing hundreds of opponents.
This scene remained a black point in the history of Pele. How a man who was able to turn the tide in the world regarding the brutality taking place in Brazil with just a statement showed such submission in the face of a violent dictatorship that was killing his own people.
Ali was stripped of his heavyweight title and sentenced to prison , losing nearly four years of his prime in the legal battle, but he earned everyone's respect as a man of unwavering principles. As the popularity of the Vietnam War declined, support for Ali's position increased. Eventually, the Supreme Court overturned his conviction in 1971, and he returned to the boxing ring more daring than ever.
The greatest athlete in history
Comparisons always revolve around the idea of the greatest of all time (GOAT), and no one emerges a winner, especially when the comparison is between players in different sports. If you put forward the name “Messi” as the greatest of all time in football, it seems logical, but if you compare him to “Michael Gordon,” the matter becomes completely different.
What if you knew that Jordan himself refused to endorse a black candidate out of fear for his interests, and even made a statement that would stay with him for the rest of his career; Republicans are also buying Nike shoes, indicating that he cannot support one candidate over another for fear that his Nike shoe sales will be affected, directly affecting his annual income.
We do not mean here to detract from every player in order to highlight the importance of Clay, but we can simply say that in every sport there is a man who is fit to be the greatest of all time, but if we decide to point out the most important of them in impact and symbolism, we cannot ignore that Muhammad Ali Clay should To be at the top of the list.
By the time Clay considered retiring from boxing, he had become a symbol of civil rights movements around the world. He even personally conducted goodwill missions to Afghanistan and North Korea delivered medical supplies to embargoed Cuba, and traveled to Iraq to secure the release of 15 American hostages during the First Gulf War.
Perhaps his most passionate visit was to South Africa to meet Nelson Mandela, the man who had an important influence on apartheid issues, after his release from prison, a meeting that Mandela himself described as a very inspiring meeting.
Invoking Muhammad Ali Clay in every conversation related to situations will still make sense. People will compare him to Pele, Gordon, and Salah if necessary, and he will emerge victorious because he is a man who has already created his own destiny.
Now you may agree with me that Muhammad Salam never wore a Muhammad Ali Clay shirt by chance, but rather he was aware of the importance of the greatest sports icon Muhammad Ali Clay.