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Ali Belongs in Kentucky’s Capitol Rotunda




Eighteen months ago in this space, I shared my crazy idea to remove the statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis from Kentucky’s Capitol Rotunda, and replace it with a tribute to Muhammad Ali.

It turned out to be the most viral of my verbalizations, prompting a few TV news stories, a petition that secured hundreds of signatures, and of course, deep personal invective from my loyal clan of KSR comment-haters.  And like most of my most brilliant brainchildren, the issue disappeared from public discussion almost as soon as it was raised.

Then just six months later, in the wake of the 2015 Charlestown tragedy in which a Confederate flag-waving murderer united the nation against racism, nearly all of Kentucky’s most powerful policymakers – including U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell, Governor Matt Bevin, Senate President Robert Stivers and House Speaker Greg Stumbo – called for the removal of the Davis statue from the Rotunda.

As we commemorate Muhammad Ali’s passing on Friday, there’s no better moment to replace the symbol of the nation’s worst era by honoring The Greatest of All Time.


Perhaps to compensate for all of the bile we hurl and tweet at celebrities during their lifetimes, we tend to glorify, even sanctify them in death, photoshopping their warts and retouching their blemishes.  In the past 48 hours, it’s been tough to escape the over-the-top tributes to the Champ, many employing with straight-faced sincerity the same hyperbole that Ali self-recited with his mischievous wink and smile.

Like all of us, Muhammad Ali was a flawed man. Certainly, he was more colorful than your average Joe (Louis or Frazier); but the cheerful, inspirational poet-laureate of sport was also at times a mirror on one of the angriest times in American history. Particularly during the late 1960s, a time of acrimony and assassination, Ali could be a divisive figure, blurting ugly, regrettable statements about whites, Jews, women, even some of his African-American opponents.

But Ali came to represent something much greater than himself.  And that’s precisely why he belongs in Kentucky’s version of Statuary Hall.  Abraham Lincoln uttered horribly racist statements as a young pol, and engaged in ethically questionable chicanery to win election and secure passage of key legislation. But his coincident accomplishment of preserving the union and freeing the slaves makes him the symbol of everything that is right and good and just about our democracy.  Henry Clay was a four-time presidential loser whose “corrupt bargain” scandalized American politics, epitomizing a rigged political system in which the elite ignored the people’s will. (Sound familiar?)  Yet his subsequent work to head off disunion as the “Great Compromiser” makes him forever a celebrated role model for civility, public service and patriotism. By contrast, Jefferson Davis merited some extraordinary achievements — he was, for example, the prime mover behind the glorious modern U.S. Capitol’s design — but he will forever remain the very epitome of the most shameful, disgraceful undertaking in American history.

As our center of governance, the Capitol should provide a symbolic celebration of our Commonwealth’s unique greatness.  And as Democrats and Republicans have united to evict Davis, there’s no more fitting Rotunda replacement than a proud descendent of slaves, as well as the most internationally influential Kentuckian of the modern era.

I’ve already had plenty to say about why Muhammad Ali belongs in the Capitol Rotunda. But a few points bear repeating.

Foundationally, he was and will always be a Kentuckian. Ali didn’t simply make a brief appearance in the Bluegrass State like Honest Abe: He was a proud product of Louisville, raised by a supportive middle class family and nurtured by a devoted neighborhood community.  Despite the racism he endured in his childhood and early adult years, the Louisville Lip ultimately chose to locate his award-winning museum and civil rights center in his hometown, where he soon will rest in peace.

In a state, moreover, which reveres sport — and where the games children play do more perhaps than any other social force to unite diverse populations and to promote equality, selflessness and community — Ali stood far above his peers. As Sports Illustrated would recognize, he was the Sportsman of the Century.  When he reigned, boxing was the sport of kings. Since The People’s Champion retired, the sport has lost most of its relevance.  Indeed, the sport’s popular decline was precipitated by Ali’s physical decline; public awareness of the impact of his brain trauma de-romanticized boxing, and has helped prompt critical reform efforts to promote safety in other contact sports like football.

Most significant, though, was the invaluable role Ali played in redressing the ills brought to our country by Jefferson Davis and his ilk.  His rise coincided with this country’s most moral moment – the Civil Rights Movement – and unlike other sports greats who shirked from politics (à la Michael Jordan who famously noted that “Republicans buy sneakers, too”); Ali, true to form, couldn’t keep his mouth shut.

Now, as noted above, Muhammad Ali was no mainstream moderating figure.  Early on, he took issue with less confrontational leaders, joined the über-controversial Nation of Islam, emerged as a vocal proponent of the nascent “Black Power” movement, and called for radical change to the institutional racism of white-dominated society.  Most contentiously, he drew upon his new faith, as well as his deep antagonism to Jim Crow America, to claim status as a conscientious objector and refuse to be drafted for the Vietnam War. “I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong — no Viet Cong ever called me N___,” he famously intoned. “Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go ten thousand miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights?”

Compare that to many of his wealthy and well-connected contemporaries who avoided combat through deferment or claims of injury: luminaries such as Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Trump.  Ali was no “draft dodger”; he confronted the issue head on, risking his career and even his freedom to honor his faith, as well as to protest what he believed was a deeply unjust war and a draft that placed a generation’s poor and disenfranchised on the front lines while their wealthier peers went to grad school or the National Guard.

Many Americans of an older generation will never forgive him.  But whether or not you agreed with his principled stance, Muhammad Ali’s long-term positive political and societal impact is undeniable.  The Supreme Court decision that his draft-confronting prompted served as a landmark sanctification of our nation’s freedoms of speech and religion. And by standing up loudly and courageously to the segregation-infected political infrastructure, Ali’s inspiration of young African-Americans, struggling to find a voice in their communities, was incomparable.  In his later years, the Champ emerged as an outspoken champion for peace and social justice. His final major pronouncement decried the emergence of anti-Muslim hysteria, pointing to his example as a living, poignant reminder of the brilliance and resoluteness of American diversity. As civil rights activist Julian Bond noted, “It’s hard to imagine that a sports figure could have so much political influence on so many people.”

A man who achieved greatness through the most violent of sports achieved immortality as a loud and proud voice for non-violence.  It is that personal and political evolution that has earned him a spot in the Rotunda, our Commonwealth’s cathedral, a daily reminder to our most important citizens – from the officials who lead the state, to the schoolchildren who visit our capital — of the meaning of our communal mission.


Some obstacles remain before The Greatest arrives in the Rotunda.  First, Ali’s faith prohibits his representation in three-dimensional form, so the tribute must come in the firm of a portrait, picture or mural, in lieu of a statue.  (These leaves room for another statue — how about civil rights heroine, State Senator Georgia Powers?) Second, current state regulations require an honoree to be dead for 40 years before being enshrined.  Of course, rules are made to be adjusted.  Finally, despite the bi-partisan consensus for Davis’ removal, he’s still standing: the Kentucky Historic Properties Advisory Commission voted last August to retain the Confederate smear.  But with a new Administration reversing many actions of its predecessor, this would be one rare 180 that this proud Steve Beshear appointee would heartily applaud.

Long after he is gone, Muhammad Ali’s legacy will continue with the millions, if not billions, of people who have been inspired by the personal risks he took to champion justice and freedom.  Let’s pay the Champ one final honor – and take a large step toward repairing our state’s cultural fabric – by adding his statue to Kentucky’s Capitol Rotunda.


Agree with me?  Please sign this petition, and I will deliver it to Governor Matt Bevin, House Speaker Greg Stumbo and Senate President Robert Stivers.

Disagree? Don’t pull your punches in the comments below.

Article written by Jonathan Miller

Jonathan Miller, The Recovering Politician (Twitter: @RecoveringPol), writes about the politics of sport and the sport of politics...and sometimes about bourbon. Jonathan has been elected twice as Kentucky's State Treasurer; practices as a crisis management attorney; authored three books on faith, public policy and crisis management; serves as a Contributor to The Daily Beast, played straight man on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart; reached the final table of the World Series of Poker; and with his summer camp sweetheart, raised two remarkable twenty-something daughters.

43 Comments for Ali Belongs in Kentucky’s Capitol Rotunda

  1. Cousins Fake Tooth
    8:53 pm June 5, 2016 Permalink

    Yeah, lets put a draft dodger and was convicted of it into our legal systems buildings.

    • runningunnin.454
      9:53 am June 6, 2016 Permalink

      That conviction was over-turned by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1970.

    • scorpiocard
      10:42 am June 6, 2016 Permalink

      Not only was the conviction overturned, Ali has been fully vindicated for his courageous opposition to a war that any reasonable person, of any political persuasion, today admits should have never been fought. He did not skip out to another country, he stayed here and faced the music for his choice. He was willing to go to prison for his beliefs

      Alas, no dumb ignorant racist redneck will ever understand this. You have to have some knowledge of what actually happened, as well as the intellect to process it beyond knee jerk emotional and inaccurate conclusions about that chapter of his life.

    • scorpiocard
      10:46 am June 6, 2016 Permalink

      Further, it is well documented that it is highly unlikely that Ali would have ever seen combat. His value to the Army would have been in promotion and recruitment.

    • secrick
      10:52 am June 6, 2016 Permalink

      I agree

  2. bballdoc
    9:03 pm June 5, 2016 Permalink

    The 2015 bball team held him in awe. Is that good enough KSR readers? The tide of history has changed.

  3. hweathers
    9:32 pm June 5, 2016 Permalink

    Sorry, but I don’t agree.

  4. onsides
    9:38 pm June 5, 2016 Permalink

    I don’t know what state Jon Miller comes from but he needs to go back there and kill himself.

  5. kjd
    10:09 pm June 5, 2016 Permalink

    State regulations require an honoree by deceased 40 years, but the liberal mindset simply says ignore the rules.
    You also finish your ramblings with the demand for a statue of Ali even though you stated Ali’s faith forbids it.
    That’s how you honor “The Greatest” by ignoring his faith?
    Nope, do not agree with you at all.

  6. RyaninKorea
    10:27 pm June 5, 2016 Permalink

    The article linked from TPM makes no reference to “horribly racist statements” uttered by President Lincoln, only a general assertion that President Lincoln was, by 21st Century Standards, a racist. That was a shockingly irresponsible charge to level without citations to more relevant and substantive authorities.

    • chimichanga
      3:48 pm June 6, 2016 Permalink

      Lincoln’s racist remarks are easily found by anyone with access to Google and common sense. Also: history books.

  7. Angelo
    2:05 am June 6, 2016 Permalink

    I wish Lincoln could have abolished slavery and prevented a war… That would have been brilliant.

  8. millertime98
    2:38 am June 6, 2016 Permalink

    Hey, I know! Maybe I should go on a website and tell a person to kill themselves or blame everything on liberals!!! What a world.

  9. Fred C Wilhite
    4:51 am June 6, 2016 Permalink

    No way I sign your petition!

  10. chessplayer1974
    5:57 am June 6, 2016 Permalink

    I know….lets put a statue of Ali in front of all the Armed Services recruiting locations. What better way to remember him?

  11. brian
    7:07 am June 6, 2016 Permalink

    You are absolutely the worst writer on KSR; please stop!

    • 8 god
      8:45 am June 6, 2016 Permalink

      You’re trying to tell me Kindsey Bernhard’s daily, idiotic tweet beat is better than this? That crap is scrolling practice.

  12. kingave66
    9:58 am June 6, 2016 Permalink

    This is absolute trash. Please STOP with the assault on Southern heritage. I listen to the show and read the site every day, but I can’t get behind race baiting, click-bait trash articles like this.

    • Secretariat
      12:59 pm June 6, 2016 Permalink

      Assaulting southern heritage? You mean a heritage based on the oppression and enslavement of people who don’t look like you? Read the declaration of causes that seceding states issued, as well as the CSA constitution. They clearly stated (and we’re proud of the fact) that this was a war about slavery.

    • chimichanga
      3:49 pm June 6, 2016 Permalink

      Southern heritage is trash.

  13. Chip Chipperson
    10:22 am June 6, 2016 Permalink

    wow…. this comment section and I thought I had issues. The GOAT belongs in the Capital!

  14. theWilkman
    11:27 am June 6, 2016 Permalink

    Put him in the Capitol but you can’t remove Davis. Air-brushing him out of our history ignores his positive and negative contributions. Ignoring history has consequences. Should the Germans close demolish all of the concentration camps and Holocaust displays/museums because they symbolize “the most shameful, disgraceful undertaking” in German history?

    • Secretariat
      1:02 pm June 6, 2016 Permalink

      The Germans remember the atrocity, but have removed and outlawed any commemoration or celebration of those involved. You want find a statue of Hitler or a monument with swastikas there, and you shouldn’t find the symbols or leaders of traitors and those who fought to defend the enslavement of others here in our country.

    • Secretariat
      1:03 pm June 6, 2016 Permalink

      won’t* (autocorrect)

    • WeepNoMore
      1:42 pm June 6, 2016 Permalink

      Secretariat, your reference to the Confederate leaders as traitors is both ignorant and obnoxious.

      The leaders of the Confederacy (and its foot soldiers) are no more traitors than the leaders of the American Revolution were traitors which, by the way, is what they were considered by the British government during the Revolution. Even though the British lost the war that freed America, I doubt any Britons today consider the leaders of the Revolution to be traitors.

    • chimichanga
      3:52 pm June 6, 2016 Permalink

      Confederates were traitors to American values and ideals as outlined in the Constitution. Sorry to break it to you, but the south is never gonna rise again.

      “ignorant and obnoxious”

      Nice QED there.

  15. WeepNoMore
    1:24 pm June 6, 2016 Permalink

    Your thoughts re Ali in your posting are spot on. He deserves a place of reverence in our history and our state capital. I fully support your suggestion that a likeness of Ali, statue if his faith permits, otherwise a life-sized portrait and a collage of photos displaying his love of life and the common man, regardless of color, faith and social status, be placed in a prominent place in our state capitol.

    IMHO, your thoughts on Davis display a reverse racism that plagues our country today. While I am glad the result of the Civil War kept our country united and freed an oppressed people, the foot soldiers of the Confederacy and its leaders are a part of our history.

    A study of history will reveal that the Civil War was about much more that freeing slaves–it was about economic repression, states rights and other significant issues of the day, many of which are debated even today. The sons of the Confederacy lived, fought and died for what they believed in and their memory should not be erased in an overzealous devotion to political correctness that permeates and infects a vocal part our society today.

    • theWilkman
      1:47 pm June 6, 2016 Permalink

      Great points. The Emancipation Proclamation wasn’t issued until 1863, over 2 years after the start of the Civil War.

    • Secretariat
      4:06 pm June 6, 2016 Permalink

      Reverse racism is impossible. You’re conflating prejudice with racism. Racism is the result of the combining of prejudice with institutional power. Without that power there can’t be racism.

      As for “studying history”…I’ve spent the better part of 30 years doing just that, and teaching it as well. Part of that was in Kentucky and other parts of the south. It’s tragic how much actual history is kept out of the schools there and even more criminal that the misinformation spread there is all that two generations of those educated there have known. The omissions, errors, and outright lies have led to a lot of wrongheadedness. I encourage you to stop listening to what others say we’re the reasons and read the primary sources from those who were there making decisions and living their lives. You’ll find that the first mention of state’s rights that wasn’t referring to rights regarding slave ownership didn’t appear until after the war, when the families who were left behind had to justify their losses to themselves in some other way. Those fighting the war said proudly and repeatedly that their cause was that if slave ownership. They opposed Lincoln because he was an abolitionist. To deny what they were fighting for is not only an insult them but a misrepresentation of history. You can try to defend that stance if you choose, but it tells a lot about who you are as a person if you do. Taking up arms against the government of the United States and killing members of the United States military in war makes them traitors. I’ll save you a little legwork:

      Georgia’s Declaration of Causes for Secession
      (Full Text)

      “The prohibition of slavery in the Territories is the cardinal principle of this organization…For twenty years past the abolitionists and their allies in the Northern States have been engaged in constant efforts to subvert our institutions and to excite insurrection and servile war among us…Because by their declared principles and policy they have outlawed $3,000,000,000 of our property in the common territories of the Union; put it under the ban of the Republic in the States where it exists and out of the protection of Federal law everywhere…we resume the powers which our fathers delegated to the Government of the United States, and henceforth will seek new safeguards for our liberty, equality, security, and tranquillity.”


      Mississipi’s Declaration of Causes for Secession
      (Full Text)

      “Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery…none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun…a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization…There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union…it (abolitionism) denies the right of property in slaves, and refuses protection to that right…It refuses the admission of new slave States into the Union…It has nullified the Fugitive Slave Law…It advocates negro equality, socially and politically…It has made combinations and formed associations to carry out its schemes of emancipation in the States and wherever else slavery exists.

      South Carolina’s Declaration of Causes for Secession (Full Text)

      “…the action of the non-slaveholding States…have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery…They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection…(they) have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery…This sectional combination for the submersion of the Constitution, has been aided in some of the States by elevating to citizenship, persons who, by the supreme law of the land, are incapable of becoming citizens…”

      Texas’s Declaration of Causes for Secession (Full Text)

      “She (Texas) was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery– the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits– a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time….In all the non-slave-holding States… the people have formed themselves into a great sectional party…based upon an unnatural feeling of hostility to these Southern States and their beneficent and patriarchal system of African slavery, proclaiming the debasing doctrine of equality of all men, irrespective of race or color– a doctrine at war with nature, in opposition to the experience of mankind, and in violation of the plainest revelations of Divine Law. They demand the abolition of negro slavery throughout the confederacy, the recognition of political equality between the white and negro races, and avow their determination to press on their crusade against us, so long as a negro slave remains in these States…they have placed the slave-holding States in a hopeless minority in the federal congress…They have for years past encouraged and sustained lawless organizations to steal our slaves and prevent their recapture…sent seditious pamphlets and papers among us to stir up servile insurrection…hired emissaries among us to… distribute arms and poison to our slaves…And, finally, by the combined sectional vote of the seventeen non-slave-holding States, they have elected as president and vice-president of the whole confederacy two men whose chief claims to such high positions are their approval of these long continued wrongs, and their pledges to continue them to the final consummation of these schemes for the ruin of the slave-holding States….We hold as undeniable truths that the governments of the various States, and of the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolerable…That in this free government all white men are and of right ought to be entitled to equal civil and political rights [emphasis in the original]; that the servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian nations…”

      Florida’s Declaration of Causes for Secession (Full Text)

      “A President has recently been elected… mainly if not exclusively on account of a settled and often proclaimed hostility to our institutions and a fixed purpose to abolish them… it is the purpose of the party soon to enter into the possession of the powers of the Federal Government to abolish slavery…it has been announced by all the leading men and presses of the party that the ultimate accomplishment of this result is its settled purpose and great central principle. That no more slave States shall be admitted into the confederacy and that the slaves from their rapid increase the highest evidence of the humanity of their owners will become value less. Nothing is more certain than this and at no distant day. What must be the condition of the slaves themselves when their number becomes so large that their labor will be of no value to their owners. Their natural tendency every where shown where the race has existed to idleness vagrancy and crime increased by an inability to procure subsistence. Can any thing be more impudently false than the pretense that this state of things is to be brought about from considerations of humanity to the slaves….It is in so many words saying to you we will not burn you at the stake but we will torture you to death by a slow fire we will not confiscate your property and consign you to a residence and equality with the african but that destiny certainly awaits your children…”


  16. Destroyou
    1:51 pm June 6, 2016 Permalink

    So I published a really thoughtful statistically backed post that debunked everything that was said about Ali but it was censored. Surprise! KSR is a haven for liberal fallacious thoughts not supported by evidence.

  17. Destroyou
    2:06 pm June 6, 2016 Permalink

    Even ignoring the draft dodging, he is still a racist that doesn’t deserve the honor. You propose to remove a person who actually contributed to the rise of this country because he was a racist but plan to replace him with another racist who played a sport.

    If you look at your post of Trump’s proposed Muslim ban, Ali uses a similar reasoning in his mind for white people. So is it not racist (You can’t be racist to an ideology) for him to do it?

    Also, Rocky Marciano was the greatest boxer of all time.

    Here are some of your heroes quotes:
    heavyweightblog . /com/262/criticizing-muhammad-ali-is-racism

    Muhammad Ali on white people:

    “There are many white people who mean right and in their hearts wanna do right. If 10,000 snakes were coming down that aisle now, and I had a door that I could shut, and in that 10,000, 1,000 meant right, 1,000 rattlesnakes didn’t want to bite me, I knew they were good… Should I let all these rattlesnakes come down, hoping that that thousand get together and form a shield? Or should I just close the door and stay safe?”

    Muhammad Ali on homosexuality:

    “””””””All Jews and gentiles are devils…”””””””” Blacks are no devils… Everything black people doing wrong comes from [the white people]: “”””””””””Drinking, smoking, prostitution, homosexuality, stealing, gambling: It all comes from [the white people]””””””””””””

    Muhammad Ali on brotherhood:

    “We’re not all brothers. You can say we’re brothers, but we’re not.”

    Muhammad Ali on Al-Qaeda:

    “I’ve opened up businesses across the country, selling products and I don’t want to say… the wrong thing and hurt my business”

    Muhammad Ali on killing blacks for having relationships with whites:

    In an interview with Playboy Ali said “”””””””””””A black man should be killed””””””””””” if he’s messing with a white woman.” When the interviewer asked about black women crossing the colour barrier, Ali responded: “Then she dies. Kill her, too.”
    The Playboy journalist, who interviewed the boxer, was closer to the mark when he observed of his subject: “You’re beginning to sound like a carbon copy of a white racist.”

    Martin Luther King on Muhammad Ali:
    “When Cassius Clay joined the Black Muslims he became a champion of the racial segregation and that is what we are fighting against.”
    Also, your digs at Christianity are false. You can think of 5 instances of atrocity in the last 10 years that were events in the “name of Christianity” which were universally disavowed (Don’t know about westboro)/attributed to insane people. You can think of 5 in the last week for Islam who were lauded in a significant portion of the community. This is because according to pew research poll as of 2011 as much as 40% of Muslims, including those in the west, believe Sharia law should be implement in their country. Thankfully, the few Muslims who live in the US are to a large degree non practicing. 13% of the Syrian refugees have positive views of ISIS. “Small minority” is false.

    I am not a Christian, but to compare these 2 religions is dumb. Christianity and its branches are responsible for the most free and equal countries in the world, where Islam is responsible for the most restrictive and unequal countries in the world. Islam is also a set of political governance and laws. Islam does not have “radicals” they have “literals.” For example, the Quran states, “Smite the unbelievers above the neck.” “Jews and Christians are not your friends.” So when you see someone getting their head chopped off, it is just the literal meaning of the text.

    • Ricky Blumpkin
      2:52 pm June 6, 2016 Permalink

      Huge applause. Clay was a racist. But he was black and became a Muslim, so it’s fine. And wouldnt fight for his country. A country that he used for all its advantages, mind you. Playing a rigged sport to get rich and famous. Let’s all kiss his ass for all eternity.

    • chimichanga
      4:13 pm June 6, 2016 Permalink

      We are currently seeing thousands of shared stories, photos, and memories of Ali amongst people of all races and nationalities. But sure, let’s just dismiss him as “a racist”. My own family and friends have shared their stories….but nevermind those, Ali was just a racist. The kindness and respect I saw from him personally as a white man, as well as his whole family which he raised….but no, he was a racist.

      Ali acknowledged his mistakes from his younger days; Will you one day acknowledge the mistake you are right now? You’re cherrypicking things to try and tear down a legend, to the exclusion of the mountains of evidence demonstrating everything that made him great. You know what kind of person does that? A very petty and small one, with way too much time on his hands.

    • Ricky Blumpkin
      8:33 pm June 6, 2016 Permalink

      Your argument holds no water, burrito. I think you are affiliated with the Ali family. You have no idea what you are talking about. I was alive back then. I didn’t agree with Vietnam, but I went and fought when I had to. Because my country asked me to. And yes, he was a racist. Black people can be racist.

    • Destroyou
      10:56 pm June 6, 2016 Permalink

      Cherrypick? I can just cut down the tree. This is factual and not petty. I am not in the habit of glorifying people in their death. I tell it like it is. There is a molehill of good and a mountain of bad, so you let that get mixed up.

      Ali was a boxer. Ali was showtime and his antics elevated him to “legend.” Not his boxing. All of his “good acts” don’t change the basic truth of his character, one who obviously supported the killing of 3,000 civilians in a time of peace that were American like himself. That was 15 years ago, right before his body really started to decay. Davis built the country. So you can forgive Ali’s racism and not Davis’? Davis was loved by and kind to his people, does that make it OK?

      I’ll address the draft dodging as well. He said “I don’t have no quarrel with them Vietkong.” Well, I assume this is religiously motivated, although I’m not sure. He technically DID have a quarrel, as his holy book would validate killing the unbelievers. I bet there are thousands of American families who would wish their dead fathers and brothers could afford to take this “moral stand” to save themselves. Maybe they would be allowed to live until their 70s to give millions to donate to cure a disease that they had and be remembered as a hero through revisionist history.

      Ali was a great boxer. Not the best. He was showtime. He did good stuff. He did bad stuff. You can’t hypocritically call one person’s actions bad and then ignore the other person’s exact same actions. Especially when the one you laud did far less good than the one you criticize.

  18. jaws2
    2:56 pm June 6, 2016 Permalink

    If Ali goes in, Davis stays. All of the statements by Destroyou attributed to Ali are correct, and there are many more ‘racist’, white hating comments that were made by Ali. He said a lot of things that even Farrakhan says everyday and people ignore it. What’s fair is fair, you cannot say one was racist and the other isn’t just because he’s black. Although that is the ‘progressive’ way today.

  19. joe smith
    3:54 pm June 6, 2016 Permalink

    Jefferson Davis deserves his spot in the Capitol rotunda. Before the Civil War, and well before anyone had ever heard of Abraham Lincoln, he was lauded as a genuine American hero. After attending Transylvania University for three years, Davis subsequently graduated from West Point. He fought in the Mexican War and was wounded in one of the most pivotal battles of that war. Returning home a war hero, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, and later to the U.S. Senate. He then served as Secretary of War in the Administration of President James Buchanan. Jefferson Davis EARNED his place in the rotunda. The one time Ali was called on to serve his country, he refused.

  20. chimichanga
    4:13 pm June 6, 2016 Permalink

    So many ignorant motherf*ckers on these comments. Ali and his legacy made us proud to be Kentuckians, unfortunately many UK fans are continuing to embarrass themselves and the state in equal measure. They say ignorance is bliss, and yet I see a whole lotta hatred in these idiotic comments.

    • jaws2
      7:12 pm June 6, 2016 Permalink

      Hey *ick, no one is trying to spill hate here but one or two, but you cannot hold your head in the sand and rewrite history to pacify your guilt. I believe there is way more ignorance and arrogance in your comments than all the others. Who made you the holier than thou *uck for the board!

      Legacy? Sure, but just like all the rest of you ‘feel good’ pukes, you want to hide the ‘history’ to make yourself ‘feel’ better. So let’s just rewrite everyone’s past to make us all ‘feel’ better. People like you make me embarrassed to be an American, let alone a Kentuckian. Now, run off and vote for Hillary.

    • Ricky Blumpkin
      8:34 pm June 6, 2016 Permalink

      Burrito, you are a simple minded fool.