"I went to downtown Louisville to a five-and-dime store that had a soda fountain. I sat down at the counter to order a burger and soda pop. The waitress looked at me.... 'Sorry, we don't serve coloreds,' she said. I was furious. I went all the way to Italy to represent my country, won a gold medal, and now I come back to America and can't even get served at a five-and-dime store. I went to a bridge, tore the medal off my neck and threw it into the river. That gold medal didn't mean a thing to me if my black brothers and sisters were treated wrong in a country I was supposed to represent."
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"I was coming down Times Square once and there was a wave of people — must have been three, four thousand people raging down the street.
I was walking and I’m all, Wow. What was that? And it was Ali. And he was on foot. And this wave of people going up Eighth Avenue. It was amazing."