How social media reacted to Ali’s death


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The world reacts to Muhammad Ali

The world mourned the loss of one of the greatest sporting icons on Saturday.

Within seconds of the announcement of Muhammad Ali’s death in the early hours of the morning, the boxer’s name was trending on social media around the globe.

Presidents, politicians, musicians, athletes and celebrities paid their respects to the former heavyweight champion.

This is the story of how the world reacted to the death of Ali, referred to by many as simply ‘The Greatest.’

Death of an icon

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The official Twitter account of Muhammad Ali announced his death at 05:42 BST and the tweet was retweeted more than 200,000 times

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Ali’s children paid tribute to their father including daughter Rasheda

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Another daughter Hana paid this touching tribute

A president’s tribute

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US President Barack Obama led the tributes to Ali

Boxing peers

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Former heavyweight champion George Foreman lost his titles to Ali in the “The Rumble in the Jungle” in 1974

The boxing community

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Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson

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British boxer Amir Khan

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Britain’s former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis

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Undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather

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Britain’s IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua

From one great to another

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Brazil’s three-time World Cup winner Pele, widely regarded as the greatest footballer of all-time

Celebrities

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American talk show host and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey

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Actor and former governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger

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Author JK Rowling

Sports people

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Former England captain David Beckham

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Former Australian Olympic champion Cathy Freeman

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Britain’s Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton

Politicians

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American civil rights activist Jesse Jackson

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Prime minister David Cameron

Musicians

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Paul McCartney of the Beatles

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American singer Madonna

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American popstar Justin Bieber

Out of this world

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The American space agency paid this tribute

Better than Superman

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This DC comic was published in 1978 and saw Ali fight Superman and winning, before teaming up to fight aliens. The book ends with Ali proclaiming “Superman, WE are the greatest!”.

A world mourns

One million tweets have been posted on Twitter since the death of boxing legend Muhammad Ali was announced.

The term #RIPMuhammadAli was the top trending term worldwide on Twitter and so far has been used in over 850,000 tweets at a rate of nearly a thousand a minute.

Tweets began being sent at around 05:00 BST and reached a peak at 13:10 BST with 75,000 tweets sent in that hour alone.

Apart from his name, other trending terms include #thegreatest, #ripali, #ripchamp, and #goat (greatest of all time).

The UK and the US were the most tweeted from locations.

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This map shows where the term #RIPMuhammadAli has been used in tweets

Sport pays tribute

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Caesars Palace in Las Vegas pays tribute outside the hotel

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Spectators sit beneath a tribute to boxing legend Muhammad Ali before the international friendly football match between Australia and Greece in Sydney

Hometown hero

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Saturday’s front page from the newspaper of Ali’s home town in Louisville, Kentucky

How the US media reacted

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Ali featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated 40 times

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The world’s media pay tribute

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UK media marks Ali’s death

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