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The only Hollywood Walk of Fame star you can’t step on

The only Hollywood Walk of Fame star you can’t step on


The only Hollywood Walk of Fame star you can't step on

(Credits: Far Out / Loren Javier / Oxana Melis)


The much-criticized tourist attraction, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, sometimes called the world’s worst tourist spot, is located along 15 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. It introduces several monumental stars to those who have contributed through their efforts to entertain audiences throughout their careers. It is estimated that more than ten million tourists visit the site each year.

The promenade is indeed mainly reserved for those who have worked in the entertainment, music and film industries in Hollywood, but there is also a special place reserved for the heavyweight champion of the world, Muhammad Ali. However, the Alis star is not technically on the boardwalk but is placed on a nearby wall.

The reason why the star Alis, placed in 2002, cannot be walked on has to do with its name. Born Cassius Clay Jr in 1942, the boxing champion converted to Islam in 1961. In 1964 he denounced his birth name as a slave name and began going by the new nickname Muhammad Ali, named, of course, after the Islamic prophet.

However, because Alis’ first name does indeed sound like the Prophet Muhammad, he didn’t want anyone stepping on the name and thus disrespecting him. After all, showing disrespect to Muhammad, such as drawing depictions of him in any form, is considered a grave sin and goes against Alis’ religious beliefs.

Ana Martinez, the Walk of Fame ceremonies producer, admitted that Ali didn’t want Muhammad’s name trampled on, so the committee made the decision to place his star in an upright position outside what is now the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles.

There’s also a sense that Ali didn’t want those who didn’t respect his own personal prowess as a public figure to walk on his name in a show of disrespect. As Martinez proclaims, the real reason Alis got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the first place, even though he was indeed a sportsman and not an actor, was his status as an entertainer.

He was a showman, she added. He had two Grammy-nominated spoken word albums. He was also an animator. Martinez laid a wreath to the star of Alis when she died in 2016 along with a card addressed to her family that read, Float like a butterfly. Rest in peace Mr Ali. It’s a moving tribute to Ali, who was one of the most prominent sports figures of the 20th century and a key figure in the counterculture.

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