"Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee."
Possibly the most memorable quote from the now late, great Muhammad Ali. The world is definitely feeling a sting in our hearts now that "The Greatest" has passed away after a long battle with Parkinson's Disease. Besides his impressive and historic in-ring performances (Rumble in the Jungle? Thrilla in Manila? Ali v Superman?), Ali was an incredibly intelligent man with a long list of amazing, inspirational and intellectual quotes.
Since the announcement of his passing on Friday evening, the internet has blown up with tributes to arguably the best boxer of all time. Ali has touched the lives of many people across generations and decades, and some news outlets such as ESPN and the UFC have paid their respects to the phenom. Here are just a handful of celebrity tributes that were showcased and others I have stumbled upon over the weekend:
Kevin Smith (via Instagram)
This year Kevin Smith has honored many celebrity passings with perfect postings on Instagram. His Jay and Silent Bob caricatures dedicated to David Bowie and Alan Rickman were not only fitting but had that special flare that could only come from Kevin Smith.
His post dedicated to Ali is slightly different but it does not take away from Smith's personal touch. Being one of the nerd pioneers, Smith wrote a heartfelt message to "The People's Champion" alongside a photo of "Superman vs Muhammad Ali," a comic book that pitted the greatest boxer against the greatest superhero. Because if anyone human could take down Superman, it would be Ali (and maybe Batman....).
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (via Instagram)
Even though people (and Disney) say "it's a small world," this is one crazy story. But let's be honest, is anyone really surprised that Dwayne Johnson has cool memories of him and Muhammad Ali? I'm definitely not. But the extent to which Ali influenced Johnson is pretty awesome to say the least. To be an icon AND to help give life to another is something incredibly special. Then again, "special" is an understatement when it comes to Ali.
Sylvester Stallone (via Facebook)
Not going to lie, I did not know that there was an interaction such as this until I came across a video on Sylvester Stallone's Facebook page. But then again, doesn't it seem right that something like this would occur? Of course there would be a moment between the world's most well-known boxer and the actor who portrayed the most iconic boxing character.
On top of it all, Stallone (a world-class celebrity in his own right) truly understands the magnitude of this occurrence and realizes the greatness that is standing before him. Not just that, but the audience filled with A-list celebrities completely appreciates how fantastic it is to have these two men on stage on a night such as The Oscars. Must have been something to witness this firsthand.
Floyd Mayweather (via Facebook)
Any boxer since Ali's time has to acknowledge the impact he had on their careers. All the best fighters (and other athletes) learn from the greats before them and Floyd Mayweather is no different. Say what you will about Mayweather (I definitely have my opinions), but he is definitely one of the top boxers in our time. Only natural for one of the best to pay their respects to the greatest of all time.
Hana Ali (via Twitter)
If you can read that message aloud and NOT feel your eyes tear up a bit, then you might be a cyborg of some sort. It's one thing to get information of a tragic event, but to receive information through a family member is a completely different story. Her anecdote describing their last minutes together is truly remarkable. In particular, what amazes me the most is the portion regarding his heart, spirit and will. A fighter all the way to the end.
When people hear truly distressing news, often times we can remember exactly where we were at those moments. I remember being down the shore with my friends when a news update appeared about the death of Robin Williams. I recall driving down a highway to my friend's birthday dinner when a radio station reported on the loss of Michael Jackson. And now, I will always remember seeing headlines at 3:30 AM on a rooftop bar about the passing of "The Greatest" Muhammad Ali. I would like to extend my best wishes to the family, friends and all those mourning the loss. And I would like to thank Ali for being an inspiration to me and many others around the world. As a final tribute, I will leave you valued reader with a tribute song by R. Kelly circa 2003 properly entitled "The World's Greatest."
What is your favorite memory of Muhammad Ali? Leave a comment!