He did not receive the same messages from reading scripture that the white Christians did. “The Black Muslims themselves see Islam as the Black man’s logical progression from the way the white man taught to a faith that is his own.” Muhammad Ali valiantly promoted the Nation of Islam and is the second largest Muslim influence ever behind Malcolm X. Ali’s message came across so powerful because he was actually living the lifestyle like he was promoting. Ali will always be remembered for what he could do in the ring but there was so much more substance to him. He studied scripture with passion and was very well spoken. This contradicted the stereotypes of African-Americans and is the reason why Ali had so much influence.
Since the days of Muhammad Ali, countless African-American athletes have risen to the top of professional sports. With each passing year the increased media coverage places more and more scrutiny on the athletes. Along with the media attention comes more power and responsibility for the youth. This can be used for both good and evil. Many athletes have chosen the path of promoting their religion but others have fallen into a trap. That trap is behaving in a way that does not project a positive view on the African-American community. This can happen in countless ways but Tiger Woods is probably the best modern day example. The immense influence of modern day African-American athletes is not always positive but if you pay attention, underneath the negative buzz you will find highly spiritual people.