The Sports Metaphor in Life & Death

Serena lost another final event,failing to get ahead and playing from behind against a talented and strong 28 year old.She was gracious as usual and later was to acknowledge the importance of the late Muhamad Ali to her as a symbol and model.Muhamad Ali aka Cassius Clay was an extraordinary man.Pugilistically skilled,intellectually powerful and morally and ethically superior.He may well have been”the greatest”.His conscientious objection to serving in the Vietnamese war conscription led to the stripping of his title and suspension for three years before vindication in the courts.It was reminiscent of the Mann Act persecution of Jack Johnson(a different era black heavyweight champion and less moral character) and the exploitation of ” The Brown Bomber”Joe Louis(Barrow)who served his country during WW 2,turning over one full purse and part of another as a voluntary contribution to the U.S.Army.he was ,nevertheless ,charged with income tax evasion ironically to be bailed out postwar by a contribution of close to $800,000 (if my memory serves)by his old foe and Hitler’s reluctant Aryan prototype, Max Schmeling.Tax and Judicial reform anyone? Sports also lost Gordie Howe the great Canadien whose father was a land grant claimer in Saskatoon after immigrating from the U.S.and whose mother was a German immigrant.We would hope to avoid another exodus of the talented to our good grey neighbor to the north.

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