Ky. officials react to Muhammad Ali's death

LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) --  Many local leaders have been reacting to Muhammad Ali's death. 

Below is a quote from University of Louisville Vice President and Director of Athletics Tom Jurich on the passing of Louisville native Muhammad Ali:

“All of us in the Cardinal Athletics family are deeply, deeply saddened with the passing of an absolute worldwide legend in Muhammad,” said Tom Jurich, UofL Vice President and Director of Athletics.  “While he was undoubtedly one of the greatest athletes in history, the Champ made a difference in the lives of so many around the world.  His generosity with his time for anything we asked of him -- or things he offered to do without us asking -- was incredible, as was the financial commitment he and Lonnie made to our baseball program at UofL.  It was a true honor for me to know him and he will be greatly missed.  Our deepest sympathies and prayers go out to Lonnie and the entire family.”

 

Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) released the following statement on the passing of boxing great and Louisville's own, Muhammad Ali:

"The word champion has never fit a man better. Muhammad Ali was a champion for peace, a champion for justice, and a champion for equality. He was a man who gained fame in a violent game, but immortality as a gentle and caring soul. In the ring, there was no one better, but his contributions to humanity managed to eclipse his boxing prowess.

"I remember watching every one of his championship fights. I remember waiting for him at Standiford Field when he returned home after beating Liston, thinking to myself that I had never seen a more perfect human being. And I remember the loud-mouthed speedster by the name of Cassius Marcellus Clay, whose fights in and out of the ring would one day make him Muhammad Ali—a selfless giant who put principles over everything and never forgot the city he called home.

"I am just one of the many in Louisville whose heart aches for the loss of my friend, and yet, every corner of our community is better for his impact. At a time when fame so often comes with questionable character, Muhammad Ali is an ever present reminder that the most famous person in the world can be a real life hero. He really was the greatest."

 

Statement by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer on the death of Muhammad Ali;

“The values of hard work, conviction and compassion that Muhammad Ali developed while growing up in Louisville helped him become a global icon. As a boxer, he became The Greatest, though his most lasting victories happened outside the ring. Muhammad leveraged his fame as a platform to promote peace, justice and humanitarian efforts around the world, while always keeping strong ties to his hometown. Today, Muhammad Ali’s fellow Louisvillians join the billions whose lives he touched worldwide in mourning his passing, celebrating his legacy, and committing to continue his fight to spread love and hope.

“To honor Muhammad's life and work, flags City Hall and Metro Hall and all city government buildings will be lowered to half-staff at 10 a.m. tomorrow and will remain at half-staff until he has been laid to rest. Thank you, Muhammad, for all you've given your city, your country and the world.”

 

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released the following statement today regarding the passing of Muhammad Ali: 

“Elaine and I were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Muhammad Ali, one of the preeminent and most beloved athletes of the 20th century. Inside the ring, he was graceful on his feet and packed a powerful punch. Outside the ring, he thrilled us with his exuberance for life. He was more than just a boxer. He was The Greatest. His life story is an American story, and it’s a story that began in Louisville, Kentucky. Ali grew up in Louisville. He fought his first professional fight there. And Louisville is now the site of the Muhammad Ali Center, which will continue his legacy and preserve his life story for all to experience. Our thoughts are with the Ali family and the dedicated staff at the Ali Center in this time of grief.”

 

Statement from Dr. Hargens on the Passing of Muhammad Ali

"It is with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Muhammad Ali," said JCPS Superintendent and Ali Center Board member Dr. Donna Hargens. "Ali was a proud graduate of Central High School and in his younger years, he would often stop by our schools to eat lunch with students, shadow box, perform magic tricks and encourage our students to follow a path to greatness.  Ali and JCPS share a vision of excellence and equity, and we will continue to be inspired by his example."

 

Below is a quote from University of Louisville men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino on the passing of Louisville native Muhammad Ali:

“All of Louisville celebrates the life of our Champion,” said UofL Men’s Basketball Coach Rick Pitino.  “He shined brightest in the ring and preached peace outside of it.  He loved babies, people and cherished his friends.  We will miss you Champ.  Rest in Peace.”

 

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes released the following statement regarding the death of boxing legend and Kentucky native Muhammad Ali:

"Kentucky — and the world — has lost a giant in Muhammad Ali. We knew him not only for his tremendous skill in the ring, but for his courage and compassion. He taught us about what it means to stand up for what you believe in and to persevere in times of great adversity. His legend and lessons will long outlive his short life here on Earth. We will never forget The Greatest.

Andrew and I are praying for his beloved family, and especially his beautiful wife, Lonnie."

 

Kentucky Boxing and Wrestling Commission Mourns Death of Muhammad Ali 

"The Kentucky Boxing and Wrestling Commission extends its deepest sympathy to the family of Muhammad Ali. Ali was more than just the three-time heavyweight champion: he was the Greatest. We are so proud to call him a native son and will work hard to advance the sport he loved. Rest in peace, Champ."

 

University of Louisville head football Coach Bobby Petrino speaks on Ali's passing:

 

“All of us in the Cardinal Athletics family are deeply, deeply saddened with the passing of an absolute worldwide legend in Muhammad,” said Tom Jurich, UofL Vice President and Director of Athletics.  “While he was undoubtedly one of the greatest athletes in history, the Champ made a difference in the lives of so many around the world.  His generosity with his time for anything we asked of him -- or things he offered to do without us asking -- was incredible, as was the financial commitment he and Lonnie made to our baseball program at UofL.  It was a true honor for me to know him and he will be greatly missed.  Our deepest sympathies and prayers go out to Lonnie and the entire family.”

 

 

 

 


 

 


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