Remembering Ali

Photo courtesy Reggie Williams

The world is mourning Muhammad Ali, the boxer and civil rights champion, who recently died following a 32-year battle with Parkinson’s disease. Born Cassius Clay on Jan. 17, 1942, Ali became a three-time World Heavyweight Champion and one of the most revered public figures in history.

As famous as he was, Ali was just as legendary for taking the time to connect with his fans, including a young college football player who thought his playing days were over because of some harsh criticism he received from another coach. That young man was named Reggie Williams and after a chance meeting with The Champ at the Cleveland airport, Williams went on to have a legendary sports career himself, inspired largely by Ali’s advice.

Williams, who spent 14 years playing for the Cincinnati Bengals, shares stories from his decades-long friendship with Ali and explains how The Greatest inspired people around the world to have pride in themselves.