The TV Arc of Muhammad Ali

Three television appearances, seemingly chosen at random, trace the arc of Muhammad Ali's career outside the ring:

1967: Appears in an interview with Howard Cosell. Ali, who had changed his name from Cassius Clay upon joining the Nation of Islam, refused to serve in the American army during the Vietnam War as a conscientious objector. He was stripped of his championship belt and his license to box and sentenced to five years in prison.

1996: Lights Olympic Torch. A broken and trembling Ali provides the inimitable televisual moment for the International Olympic Committee's archives when he lights the torch at the opening ceremonies of the centennial Games in Atlanta. The Games would provide Vietnam's first visit to the United States as an Olympic delegation after boycotting the 1984 Los Angeles Games (they had 6 competing athletes and no medals).

2004: VirtuAli appears in adidas commercial. With the magic of CGI, a commercial spot for adidas' Impossible is Nothing ad campaign features Ali's virtual appearance fighting against daughter Laila in an adidas commercial. At this time, Vietnam is a strategic location for the company, "where there is a concentration of factories manufacturing adidas-Salomon product."

Is this the price of globalization?


Comments are closed.