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NFL players react to the death of Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali, considered one of greatest boxers of all-time and a sporting icon, died on Friday, his representative Bob Gunnell announced. He was 74.

A three-time world heavyweight champion, Ali died after being admitted to a Phoenix hospital Thursday for a respiratory issue, Gunnell said. Ali's funeral will take place in Louisville, Kentucky, according to Gunnell. "The Ali family would like to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers and support and asks for privacy at this time," Gunnell wrote in a statement.

Born Cassius Clay in Louisville on January 17, 1942, he rose to notoriety after winning a gold medal as a light-heavyweight at the 1960 Rome Olympic Games. Shortly after defeating Sonny Liston for his first heavyweight title at 22, Clay changed his name to Muhammad Ali following his conversion to Islam. He went on to recaputure the world heavweight title in 1974 and '78 before retiring with a 56-5 record with 37 career knockouts.

In 1984, Ali announced he had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, but the disease didn't prevent him from continuing to be a motivating figure among athletes and the general public. His torch run at 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games opening ceremony remains one of the most memorable moments in sports history.

Upon hearing of Ali's passing, the NFL community reacted on Twitter:

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