The Gist

The Good, the Bad, and the Ali

Muhammad Ali stood alone in the ring, alone when he converted to Islam, and alone when he denounced the Vietnam War.

Muhammad Ali in training in Deer Lake, Pennsylvania, on Jan. 24, 1974, for his second fight against Joe Frazier.

Chris Smith/Popperfoto/Getty Images

Listen to Episode 516 of Slate’s The Gist:

Subscribe in iTunes ∙ RSS feed ∙ DownloadPlay in another tab 
Slate Plus 
members: Get your ad-free podcast feed.


On The Gist, Dave Zirin calls in from Muhammad Ali’s funeral procession in Louisville, Kentucky. Zirin is sports editor at the Nation, host of the Edge of Sports podcast, and author of the Muhammad Ali Handbook. For the Spiel, questioning the assumptions in the Stanford University rape case. 

Today’s sponsor:

Dog Smarts, a new podcast. Each episode features leading researchers and academics that tackle questions of language, memory, intelligence, and even love as they pertain to our dogs. Subscribe to Dog Smarts on iTunes now.

Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at

Join the discussion of this episode on Facebook.

Twitter: @slategist