The greatest of all time, Muhammad Ali, passed away last night. His death and remembrances of his life will, with good reason, dominate the news this weekend. The news of his death wasn’t broken by the New York Times or TMZ or via a press release or by any other traditional means, however. No, it was broken by the jumbotron at Marlins Park in Miami following the Mets-Marlins game.
The Marlins put the iconic image of Ali standing over Sonny Liston with “1942-2016” underneath it just after 10pm last night. Ali’s death was not officially announced by his family until just after midnight. No other news outlets were running with reports of his passing before then, even if it was widely known that he had been placed on life support and that things looked dire.
This was not, however, a case of the Marlins simply jumping the gun. Marlins president David Samson told the Miami Herald that the organization was “informed by someone close to the family that he had passed away,” and added that “we wanted to get a tribute out as soon as we possibly could.” Samson noted that Ali was close to Marlins brass and noted that Ali had thrown out the first pitch before the first game in Marlins Park.
I guess the news was coming out either way eventually but the Marlins deciding that they HAD to get that up on the jumbotron ASAP was a pretty bizarre choice. Nice scoop?
In other news, if you’re around my age you grew up thinking that Mike Tyson was really good because he hit guys really hard. Then, later, you saw stuff like this. Then you went, “Ahh, I see now.”
RIP Muhammad Ali.