President Uhuru Kenyatta has eulogised legendary boxer Muhammad Ali saying he was one of the most talented sportsmen of the world.
Th President and his deputy William Ruto mourned Ali released a statement on Saturday, June 4, after the death of the boxing great on Friday night. He was 74.
“I convey my deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences to Ali’s family and friends. The world has lost a great sportsman,” said Uhuru as quoted by the Star.
According to Uhuru, the former world heavyweight champion’s sheer courage and determination will remain an enduring inspiration to the world.
Ruto said the world has lost a hero who was the best in boxing.
He said: “The death of Ali has robbed the sporting world of an icon and a towering figure in the boxing fraternity. I join the rest of the globe in mourning an elite athlete. May his soul rest in peace”.
News of Ali’s death spread like bush fire on Friday night and celebrities, filmmakers and athletes joined the world in paying tribute to the champion on social media.
“We will never forget your courage, standing up to those in power,” posted filmmaker Michael Moore.
Fellow boxing legend Mike Tyson said “So long great one.”
ABC’s Ben Sherwood quoted his thoughts on achieving the seemingly impossible:
“Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare,” he wrote, adding: “Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”
Edgar Wright, Lionel Richie and Holly Robinson Peete were not left behind either:
“I’ve wrestled with alligators, I’ve tussled with a whale. I done handcuffed lightning, And thrown thunder in jail.” wrote Wright.
Richie said Ali will always be his hero while Peete added his voice by saying: “Heart hurts. He meant so much to so many. My heart just hurts.”
“Always the champ,” reads a post by Patricia Arquette.
‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ creator Phil Rosenthal reminded the world that that he (Ali) was called “The G.O.A.T.” – the Greatest of All Time.
“Fly like a butterfly,” said actor Josh Gad.
A tweet by Reverend AL Sharpton, New York-based civil rights leader reads: “Ali, he was and always will be the greatest. A true champion in and out of the ring.”
Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr, also a civil rights leader said: “Let us pray forAli; good for America, world boxing champion, social transformer & anti-war hero. #TheGreatest.”
“You were a champion in so many ways. You ‘fought’ well. Rest well,” said living boxing legend Floyd Mayweather.
Hillary Clinton, who is currently running for US Presidential candidate under the Democratic party and her husband former US President Bill Clinton also issued a joint statement.
The Clintons said: “From the day he claimed the Olympic gold medal in 1960, boxing fans across the world knew they were seeing a blend of beauty and grace, speed and strength that may never be matched again.”
Adam Silver, National Basketball Association commissioner said: “Muhammad Ali transcended sports with his outsized personality and dedication to civil rights and social justice”.
Ali’s death was confirmed in a statement issued by family spokesman Bob Gunnell late Friday evening, a day after he was admitted to a Phoenix-area hospital with a respiratory ailment.
The cause of death or the name of the hospital where he died were not immediately disclosed.
Ali had long suffered from Parkinson’s syndrome, which impaired his speech and made the once-graceful athlete almost a prisoner in his own body.