“Can ESPN please declare a company-wide moratorium on comparing current athletes to Muhammad Ali?” Dave Zirin begs after suffering through the “idiocy” of Worldwide Leader columnists equating Tim Tebow (for appearing in a pro-life ad) and Tiger Woods (for his courageous comeback from … sex addiction) to the boxer, banned from boxing for opposing the Vietnam War due to his religious convictions.
“Yes, when Ali returned to fight, he didn't have a 24-hour sports media cycle and 10 billion blogs charting his every move,” Zirin blogs for the Nation. But Ali faced “daily and credible death threats against his family, financial ruin, and a 5-year prison sentence in Leavenworth.” Moreover, Ali became “a resistance icon throughout the world,” says Zirin in a rant more against Bill Simmons’ Woods comparison than Jemele Hill’s Tebow. “Outside the 24-hour sports bubble the Tiger story is little more than cocktail chatter. … In the Bill Simmons Sports Guy World, I'm sure the Tiger Woods Reality Show feels bigger than anything Ali endured. But in the reality-based community, the legend of the Champ only grows.”
(Read more Tiger Woods scandal stories.)