The Longest Walk, 1978. Muhammad Ali, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Floyd Red Crow Westerman, Harold Smith, Stevie Wonder, Marlon Brando, Max Gail, Dick Gregory, Richie Havens and David Amram at the concert at the end of the Longest Walk, a 3,600-mile protest march from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., in the name of the Native rights.
Muhammad Ali (1942 – 2016)
Published June 4, 2016
PHOENIX – Muhammad Ali, known as “The Greatest,” died in Phoenix on Friday night. He was 74.
Muhammad Ali, who was born Cassius Clay, was a three-time heavy weight boxing fighter.
A fighter for social justice, in 1978, Muhammad Ali was on hand in Washington, D.C. to offer his support to the Longest Walk.
“My enemy is the white people, not Vietcongs or Chinese or Japanese,” Ali told one white student who challenged his draft avoidance. “You my opposer when I want freedom. You my opposer when I want justice. You my opposer when I want equality. You won’t even stand up for me in America for my religious beliefs and you want me to go somewhere and fight but you won’t even stand up for me here at home.”
NIGA’s Ernie Stevens, Jr. presented Muhammad Ali with a bolo tie. Photo from Facebook
Ernie Stevens, Jr., chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association had the honor to meet Muhammad Ali and present him with a bolo tie.
“I told the Greatest that Indian Country loved him and that we were fighters just like him and that we will keep fighting the fight and carrying his powerful message,” commented Stevens to Native News Online after hearing of Ali’s death Friday night.
“I gave him an awesome bolo tie and assured him it was a gift from Indian Country because of our love and respect for him. I rattled off as many tribes as I could in the short time I had with him. I told him that we love and respect him. I rambled on some more I knew it may be my only opportunity to tell him what we as Native American’s feel about him.”