Muhammad Ali's Daughter Says He Would Be Working to Spread Peace Now More Than Ever
Laila Ali is set to host ESPN's second annual Sports Humanitarian of the Year Awards.
As Laila Ali prepares to host the second annual Sports Humanitarian of the Year Awards on Tuesday, she laments over the tragic week in which two African American men where shot to death by police and five officers were slain in an apparent relation.
In a Friday interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Ali, herself a retired, undefeated boxer, spoke about hosting the upcoming ESPN event for the second year in a row and what he father, Muhammad Ali, would have thought about the recent news cycle.
"He would have definitely been, especially when he was still talking and well, trying to spread messages of peace because the last thing you want is people to get angry and take to the streets and start killing and shooting," she said. "His whole life was about giving back and equality. That's why I have a lot of views I have, because growing up in a household with him was always about giving back. It wasn't just about winning. It wasn't just about making money. It wasn't just about being the best. It was that he had the platform so the people would listen to him."
Muhammad Ali, considered one of the greatest pound-for-pound boxers ever, in addition to a true humanitarian, died June 3.
Laila reiterated how important to her father it was to have a platform to spread his message of peace, and she sees the Sports Humanitarian of the Year Awards as a way for those blessed with fame and fortune to also give back.
"People appreciated how these particular awards showcase how leagues, teams, individuals and companies can use the power of sports to make a powerful impact on society," she says of feedback from last year's show.
The categories for awards are Sports Humanitarian of the Year, Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year, Corporate Community Impact, League Humanitarian Award and the Stuart Scott ENSPIRE Award.
"It's very sad," she tells THR. "It's like we get one step ahead and we take five steps back. At the end of the day, we need to stop being divided. We have to all live in this world together, so you can't hold people down.We need to think about what we are teaching our children because all of this hate is very deep rooted. It's not something that can just change over night. I know for me, I teach my children love and teach them to embrace people's differences."