Former President Bill Clinton is planning to give the eulogy at the funeral of activist and legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, scheduled for next week. And conservatives aren’t likely to take this news well at all.
During a press conference on Saturday, a spokesman for Ali’s family announced that Clinton and several other high profile celebrities would be giving eulogies at the funeral.
We haven’t confirmed all eulogists at this time, but eulogies will be led by President Bill Clinton, Bryant Gumbel and Billy Crystal.
Ali passed away on Friday at the age of 74 after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease.
The funeral is scheduled for this Thursday in Louisville, Ky, Ali’s hometown and birthplace. The ceremony will be an interfaith service and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) has been confirmed as a Mormon representative.
The Clintons released a powerful statement on Saturday, mourning Ali’s passing.
Hillary and I are saddened by the passing of Muhammad Ali. From the day he claimed the Olympic gold medal in 1960, boxing fans across the world knew they were seeing a blend of beauty and grace, speed and strength that may never be matched again. We watched him grow from the brash self-confidence of youth and success into a manhood full of religious and political convictions that led him to make tough choices and live with the consequences. Along the way we saw him courageous in the ring, inspiring to the young, compassionate to those in need, and strong and good-humored in bearing the burden of his own health challenges.
I was honored to award him the Presidential Citizens Medal at the White House, to watch him light the Olympic flame, and to forge a friendship with a man who, through triumph and trials, became even greater than his legend. Our hearts go out to Lonnie, his children, and his entire family.
Ali was born Cassius Clay. In 1964, only one day after he defeated Sonny Liston, he announced that he had joined the Nation of Islam and renounced his “slave name.” From then on he was known as Muhammad Ali.
Conservatives are sure to have a full fledged freak out at this news. Bill Clinton, wife of Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, giving the eulogy at the funeral of a tireless warrior for civil rights who is a Muslim no less (gasp) is sure to send right-wingers into near hysteria.
Featured image via Mark Wilson/Newsmakers/Getty