We can’t say we’re surprised.
On Monday, Will Smith was announced as one of Muhammad Ali‘s pallbearers for the late boxer’s memorial service. In case you forgot, the A-lister was nominated for an Oscar for his role depicting the American athlete in the 2001 film Ali. Fierce.
As you surely know, the heavyweight champion died on June 4 after seeking medical attention for respiratory complications at a Phoenix-area hospital. A family spokesperson has since noted that the icon’s death was caused due to “septic shock” from “unspecified natural causes.”
Nonetheless, Will’s involvement in Ali’s memorial service comes mere days after the Concussion actor mourned his idol on Facebook. He posted:
Still, the 47-year-old isn’t the only celebrity slated to be involved with the June 10 service as former President Bill Clinton, Billy Crystal, and Bryant Gumbel are all to give eulogies. Boxer Lennox Lewis and six other friends and family members will serve as the other pallbearers alongside Smith — including John Grady, Ibn Ali, Komawi Ali, Jerry Ellis, Jan Wadell, and John Ramsey.
Not to mention, the funeral is to be held at the KFC Yum Center in Louisville, KY and will be open to the public as well as live streamed online.
Regardless, it’ll be very touching to see Will play a major role in sending off Ali — especially since he couldn’t help but gush about the sports figure during Sports Illustrated‘s 2015 Sportsperson of the Year ceremony. In regards to Muhammad, Smith shared:
“For nearly two years, I worked to transform myself into the man who changed his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali and shook up the world. And that’s really what makes my job so beautiful as an actor ├óΓé¼ΓÇ£ for four, five months at a time I get to wear peoples’ lives. So I got to wear Muhammad Ali’s greatness. I got to study and feel and embody the soul of the man, from the foundations of Islam and the strength of his Muslim faith in his life, to the beautiful wake that he always leaves in his magnificent path.”
Well said! Our thoughts are with Muhammad’s friends and family during this trying time.
[Image via WENN.]