“You shook up the World! My Mentor & My Friend. You changed my Life. Rest in Peace,” posted the actor.
In 2001, Smith had the opportunity of “wearing” the boxer’s life in the Muhammad Ali biopic titled, Ali.
In his speech at the Sports Illustrated 2015 Sportsperson of the Year ceremony, Smith stated, “[As and actor,] I get to wear people’s lives, so I got to wear Muhammad Ali’s greatness.”
“I got to study and feel and embody the soul of the man; from the foundations of Islam and the strength of his Muslim faith and his life, to the beautiful wake that he always leaves in his magnificent path.”
“What I learned about the word ‘legacy,’” Smith continued, “is that it extends far beyond our professional accomplishments, it extends far beyond accolades.”
“Muhammad Ali is a champion for civil rights,” Smith reminds us. “He’s a champion in the fight against injustice. He’s a champion for utilizing whatever tools he has to make the world a better place.”
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