UCD/EIA Celebrity: Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali is arguably one of the most recognized global sports icons along with other superstars like Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan. Known for his trademark, “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee,” Ali won gold for boxing in the 1960 Summer Olympics and then would become the only three-time heavy weight champion. He is nicknamed the “Greatest.” Today, beyond boxing, he is known for his philanthropy and battle with Parkinson’s disease. He is the recipient of many awards including the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
At first glance, it can be easy to mistake Muhammad Ali’s primary MDNA Profile as EIA (Empowering Inspiration & Attraction). Ali revolutionized the sport of boxing by the sheer power and magnetism of his personality. Ali thrived in the spotlight, where he was highly entertaining. You could say that Ali likely was the first celebrity-athlete in the modern sense of the term. In the words of writer Joyce Carol Oates, he was one of the few athletes in any sport to completely “define the terms of his public reputation.”
Upon closer examination however, one will see that Muhammad Ali was very intentional about his provocative showmanship. It was when Ali saw a professional wrestling show and determined that he needed to master the art of self-promotion. His EIA traits were very intentionally integrated into his career. Most certainly EIA is Ali’s secondary MDNA Profile.
Muhammad Ali’s primary MDNA Profile is UCD. Based upon our work with the Muhammad Ali Center, we have researched Ali extensively and even had the pleasure of interviewing the boxing legend’s wife Lonnie Ali.
The UCD is known for being ideologically driven and principle based. Ali’s historical battle with the United States government around refusal to be drafted for the Vietnam War aligns with this. He also lived by six core principles, which now are an integral foundation of all his social responsibility ventures.
“I got nothing against no Viet Cong. No Vietnamese ever called me a ‘nigger’.”
“Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on brown people while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs?”
Ali was a man of conviction. Issues were very black and white for him. And although he was very popular, he did not need social popularity to achieve his personal vision. He was willing to die for his beliefs which polarized his reputation to the masses. He was very competitive, especially after a loss. His training involved frontloading a heavy investment for victory against what always seemed unbeatable odds. These are all core UCD traits.
In the end, the UCD is all about challenging old and pioneering innovative paradigms. Nobody will argue that Ali did not change the world of boxing. And his legacy continues to change the world today.
“You lose nothing when fighting for a cause … In my mind the losers are those who don’t have a cause they care about.” – Muhammad Ali
Please note that these are unofficial profiles only and have not been verified. Description is only based upon public information and may represent either primary or secondary MDNA profiles. This profile is intended for educational purposes only to demonstrate the possibilities of MDNA for those that have been personally assessed.