When a celeb dies, the media world usually gets into a frenzy, milking the sad event for all it is worth. Every quality of the dear departed gets highlighted, for better or for worse. Many details, rather insignificant, when compared to the celeb's real achievements, fall under scrutiny and get inflated - thanks to that milking.
Muhammad Ali is no exception. For everyone who (like I for some years) was more or less interested in boxing, Muhammad Ali remains forever a uniquely gifted man, whose talent made him an impossible to reach example for generations of boxers to come. Nothing less - and nothing more.
But of course, this alone wasn't enough for the media. I don't want to go into details, boring or hysterical as they are, save the scrutiny Muhammad Ali's "up-and-down relationship with the Jewish world", borrowing from the headline of this JTA article. And if you doubt that remark about scrutiny, just google for "Muhammad Ali and Jews", you shall see what is going on.
What can I say? It is rather sad, when people, who have so many ongoing problems to solve, many of them to be resolved yesterday, find so much time and energy to discuss whether a professional boxer likes or dislikes them. A man whose chosen profession, I have to add, usually doesn't produce brilliant thinkers. That due to the said profession's tendency to have a rather negative and repeated impact on the brain.
So, to all my Facebook and otherwise Jewish friends: please relax. Yes, the great boxer has said these or other things about Jews. Forget it. Chill.
He was a boxer.
Noam Chomsky is a linguist. Some say he is not as good a linguist as others say, but I wouldn't know.
Norman Finkelstein is a political scientist. Of a dubious quality, but still.
Hassan Nasrallah is a sheikh. Which title is a questionable matter, but let it go.
P.S. I am going to watch a movie about another of my (very few) sports icons - Pele. Now should I check first whether Pele was anti-Semitic? Hm...