Tag: Muhammad Ali

Will Smith Honored by Real-Life “Concussion” Doctor at Creative Impact Awards in Palm Springs

Smith was so convincing in the role that Omalu’s 80-year-old mother was fooled into thinking it was the doctor on screen, Omalu said. “He stole my soul from me. I came away from the film thinking Will Smith was me.”

Jada Pinkett-Smith and Will Smith (photo via Variety.com)
Jada Pinkett-Smith and Will Smith (photo via Variety.com)

Smith visited Omalu’s home in Nigeria and several touches in the film, including a picture of his father, came from the visit.  Explore the heart and soul of what drives some of the top creative minds in fashion, beauty, and style on their roads to success.

“There is a holiness to truth,” Omalu said. “In stepping up he enlightened all of us.”

While accepting his award, Smith said, “I am a football dad. So when I got that screenplay, I was concerned.” But, “Omalu just wanted to tell the truth and what we do is deliver the truth,” he went on.

Smith pointed out that he has played other real-life figures like Muhammad Ali. And while it’s great to be able to call the subject and ask questions from the set, Smith spoke of the other side of the coin: his point-of-view while Omalu watched his performance.

“You have to sit behind Dr. Omalu. For 45 minutes, nothing, then he turns around and,” Smith flashed a thumbs up to mimic the doctor’s approval.

article by Shalini Dore via Variety.com

Muhammad Ali Inks Multi-Year Sponsorship Deal With Under Armour

Muhammad Ali (photo via bbc.com)
Muhammad Ali (photo via bbc.com)

Muhammad Ali is back again!

According to CNN Money, the former heavyweight champion signed a multi-year deal with lifestyle clothing maker Under Armour.

Not only is Under Armour allowed to use Ali’s name for the brand, they will use historic video clips and his famous quotes.

Under Armour released a statement about the deal with the boxing legend. “Ali is one of the most recognized and celebrated figures of all time.”

Although Ali seems to be too old for endorsement deals, according to Yahoo! Finance’s Jeff Macke he relates well with older generations of men.

“Guys my age still love him. For guys over 40, Ali sells a lot of stuff,” says Macke.

article via blackamericaweb.com

W.E.B. Du Bois Medal Recipients Honored at Harvard for Contributions to African American Culture

DuBois Medal recipient Nasir “Nas” Jones (PHOTO BY KAYANA SZYMCZAK FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE)

Awarded since 2000, the Du Bois Medal is Harvard’s highest honor in the field of African and African American Studies. It is awarded to individuals in the U.S. and across the globe in recognition of their contributions to African American culture and the life of the mind.

The Hutchins Center for African & African American Research hosted the celebration at Sanders Theatre. Ali picked up the honor earlier in September, but a video of his presentation played during the ceremony. Last year’s honorees included Shonda RhimesMaya Angelou, and Harvey Weinstein.

article by Meredith Goldstein via bostonglobe.com; additions by Lori Lakin Hutcherson

NAACP Image Awards to Honor Spike Lee With President’s Award

Spike Lee will be honored at the NAACP Image Awards this year, where the iconic filmmaker will receive the President’s Award.

NAACP president and CEO Cornell William Brooks calls the Do the Right Thing director a “trailblazer” and a “champion for minorities.”

Brooks continues, “His expansive body of work examining race relations, colorism in the Black community, the role of media in contemporary life, urban crime and poverty, and other political issues reflect the fullness of the humanity of people of color — particularly African-Americans.”

The President’s Award is chosen by the NAACP president and recognizes special achievement and distinguished public service. Past honorees have included President Bill ClintonMuhammad Ali and, most recently, Kerry Washington.

Lee has had an active career, churning out a film per year on average. His latest movie, Da Sweet Blood of Jesus, is a romantic horror comedy that follows a scholar who becomes cursed after a run-in with an ancient African artifact. It was partially funded through Kickstarter.

The 46th NAACP Image Awards will be broadcast live on February 6 at 9 p.m. Check your local listings for details.

article by Evelyn Diaz via bet.com

Muhammad Ali Released From Hospital After 3-Week Stay

Muhammad Ali

Boxing icon Muhammad Ali (pictured) was released from a hospital Tuesday night after being admitted nearly three weeks ago with what was presumed to be pneumonia.  Now it is being reported that the champ was being treated for a severe urinary tract infection, according to NBC News.

The 72-year-old, three-time world heavyweight champ also suffers from Parkinson’s disease, a debilitating neurological illness that has practically stilled his voice and slowed his movements for the last 30 years.

Reportedly, Ali is back home with his family and is now looking forward to celebrating his 73rd birthday on January 17.  Ali’s spokesperson, Bob Gunnell told ESPN, “He’s in great spirits and enjoying being back home.” Gunnell said. “He’s back in his daily routine.”

Even though Ali’s public profile has been low over the last few years, he still manages to get out every now and then.  Last September Ali was spotted at an outing where he sat in the bleachers supporting his grandson, Biaggio Ali Walsh, as the latter played football alongside Cordell Broadus, the son of famed rapper, Snoop Dogg.  The two young players with famous bloodlines are reportedly stellar gridiron athletes with scholarship potential.

Meanwhile, according to Gunnell, the Ali family is thankful for the show of love and support for the champ from well-wishers everywhere. “The Ali family greatly appreciates the outpouring of support and continued well wishes.  They also want to thank the team of doctors and nurses for their exceptional care,” he said.

article by Ruth Manuel-Logan via theurbandaily.com

Philadelphia Pays Tribute To Boxing Icon Joe Frazier With 9-Foot Sculpture

frazier

Sylvester Stallone’s  fictional character, Rocky Balboa, in the memorable film, “Rocky” is what many will conjure up when they think about a Philadelphia-born prizefighter, but the City of Brotherly Love is working on changing that. Artist Stephen Layne is in the final stages of completing a 9-foot tall, 1,800-pound clay sculpture of the late boxing great Joe “Smokin’ Joe” Frazier as a tribute to the hometown champ, according Fox 23.

frazier statueThe former World heavyweight champ, who passed away three years ago at age 67 from liver cancer, was actually born in Beaufort, South Carolina but settled in Philly and called the city home.

The statue project came to fruition two years ago but there were stumbling blocks along the way. The original sculptor passed away and then fundraising efforts to pay for the endeavor hit a brick wall.  Finally, Layne was commissioned to finish the project, after four private donors ponied up $160,000, and the process resumed again in March.

 Frazier, who was an Olympic gold medal winner in 1964, had a stellar boxing career that ended with a record of 32-4-1, with 27 knockouts.  He was, however, most noted for his professional matches with Muhammad Ali, another titan of the ring.  As a matter of fact, two of Frazier’s losses were during matches with Ali, including the legendary 1975 “Thrilla In Manilla.”

The sculpture will be placed about five miles south of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Frazier’s daughter, Weatta Collins, is reportedly working with tourism officials to have her dad’s memorial will be included on sightseeing maps.

The statue will reportedly be unveiled next spring.

article by Ruth Manuel-Logan via newsone.com

Michael Sam to Receive Arthur Ashe Courage Award at ESPYs

Michael SamYesterday University of Missouri’s defensive end Michael Sam was selected as the winner of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. The award, which is given to individuals who transcend sports, will be presented at The 2014 Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly (ESPYs) on July 16th. Other recipients of the award include Muhammad Ali, Nelson Mandela and Billie Jean King.

Michael Sam made history in February by becoming the first Division I college football player in history to come out as gay.  Sam, who was named the 2013 SEC Defensive Player of the Year and a first-team all-SEC selection during his senior year at Missouri, is expected to be picked in the NFL Draft in the upcoming days.  

Sam joined a growing list of notable athletes who have come out recently, including Jason Collins, Robbie Rogers, Brittney Griner, Orlando Cruz, Megan Rapinoe, Lori Lindsey, and Tom Daley.

article by Hayley Miller via hrc.org

R.I.P. Former Heavyweight Boxing Champion Ken Norton

Ken Norton connects with a left to the head of Muhammad Ali during a bout in Inglewood, Calif., in 1973.

Ken Norton, who had three memorable fights with Muhammad Ali, breaking Ali’s jaw in winning their first bout, then losing twice, and who went on to become the World Boxing Council heavyweight champion, died Wednesday in the Las Vegas suburb of Henderson, Nevada. He was 70.

His death was confirmed by his son Ken Jr., an assistant coach with the Seattle Seahawks of the N.F.L. and a pro linebacker for 13 seasons, The Associated Press said. Norton had been in poor health for several years after sustaining a series of strokes, The A.P. reported.

Norton defeated Ali on a 12-round split decision in 1973 to capture the North American Boxing Federation heavyweight title. Norton was an exceptionally muscular 6 feet 2 inches and 220 pounds, but he was a decided underdog in the first Ali fight.

“Ali thought it would be an easy fight,” Norton’s former manager, Gene Kilroy, was quoted by The A.P. as saying. “But Norton was unorthodox. Instead of jabbing from above like most fighters, he would put his hand down and jab up at Ali.”  Kilroy said that after the fight, Norton visited Ali at the hospital where he was getting his broken jaw wired, and Ali told him he never wanted to fight him again.

Continue reading “R.I.P. Former Heavyweight Boxing Champion Ken Norton”

Robin Roberts Honored with Arthur Ashe Courage Award at ESPY Awards

Denzel Washington, Maya Angelou Among Top 10 ‘Most Trusted’ Celebs in Reader’s Digest Poll

Denzel Crushes "Fences"!Denzel Washington and Maya Angelou are ranked in the top 10 on the new Reader’s Digest Trust Poll: The 100 Most Trusted People in America, ranking third and fifth respectively.

RD, with the help of The Wagner Group, polled over 1,000 Americans to see which celebrities and “the ideals they represent have earned our confidence.”

Reader’s Digest editor-in-chief Liz Vaccariello said in a press release: “The poll results were fascinating, fun and shocking.”  Topping the list is actor Tom Hanks.

Good Morning America host Robin Roberts is America’s “Most Trusted” woman in TV, ranking at number 12.

The list also includes: First Lady Michelle Obama, former NFL coach Tony Dungy, Muhammad Ali, Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey, President Barack Obama, and Steve Harvey, just to name a few.

Click here to view the full list of the “100 Most Trusted People in America.”

article by Carrie Healey via thegrio.com

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