Derek Jeter, Muhammad Ali Disrespected By The Daily News


Well hello there everybody! Welcome to This Week In Yankees Baseball. This week The New York Daily News, and its writer Ebenezer Samuel, took one of the most hypocritical stances in journalism history.

Like so many, Derek Jeter was saddened by the passing of Muhammad Ali. Like many sports dignitaries, he expressed his feelings about “The Greatest.”

"“Ali was also the first to bring real personality to sports, and by that I mean he was always himself, no matter who he was with or where he was. He freed us all in that way,”  Jeter said according to The Daily News ."

So how could The Daily News twist such a compliment into criticism of Jeter? Well, here is how:

"“Freedom, Derek? Really? Jeter always had that, from the very moment he landed in the Big Apple spotlight in 1995, a superstar who could have addressed any issue he ever wanted. But Jeter, tone-deaf on Saturday because he never listened to the world in the first place, never understood what Ali really brought, that what he really did was offer a road map for today’s athlete to be an activist,” Samuel wrote in The Daily News."

WRONG, Samuel! That is not all that Ali really brought. What Ali did was to set an example by living his life the way he wanted to. He didn’t like losing the heavyweight crown, so he went and got it back. He didn’t like the way a 60 Minutes interview was going after he became sick, so he walked out. He didn’t agree with the draft and what it was summoning him to do, so he didn’t participate.

In short, Ali said and did what he wanted to. And the same philosophy that gave him the right to we boastful allows Jeter to be private. The same right that Ali had to be an activist allows Jeter to choose or not choose to do that.

Fortunately, this was not the only coverage that The Daily News gave of the death of Ali. But Samuel, who are you to tell Jeter how he should live his life? Jeter was talking about freedom. What you are talking about is not freedom. There was a time in our country when one man could tell another what to say and how to live. But that was long ago.

Worst of all Samuel, at a time when the focus should have been on celebrating the greatness of Ali’s life, and respecting the grief of his family, you decided to take another road: the low one.