Laila Ali tells athletes to stop complaining: They have it easy
April 10th, 2013
04:16 PM ET

Laila Ali tells athletes to stop complaining: They have it easy

To Laila Ali, being an athlete means living like a role model, whether one wants to or not.

And, as the boxer and former athlete told CNN at the Tuesday premiere of the Jackie Robinson biopic "42," she doesn't have much sympathy for athletes who think otherwise.

Ali said that she hopes the film, which shows Robinson breaking Major League baseball's color barrier, will remind moviegoers of that.

"As an athlete, it's really good for young children to see somebody who really should be put on a pedestal, other than some of these other athletes that are just good on the court, but they're not good off the court," Ali, 35, said. "So hopefully it'll be a reminder. That's something that really, I think about a lot, just being Muhammad Ali's daughter."

Ali didn't name names, but she did say that she thinks such stars could get a lesson out of "42" as well.

"They need to be reminded, because they have it easy, and they're complaining," she said. "You don't have to worry about your life getting threatened, like my father did, and like Jackie Robinson did, just to play the game. And then on top of that, you're making millions of dollars. So, whether you want to be a role model or not, too bad. You have to, that's the price that you have to pay."

It's not that she thinks parents "should look to athletes to raise their kids," but on the other hand, "I think that we definitely need to take care when we are in the public eye."

These days, Ali is getting ready to be more exposed to the public, as she's preparing for a photo shoot with People magazine next week.

"I'm doing my first bathing suit, swimsuit, bikini shoot," she said. "I'm not as ready as I wanted to be, but I'll be good enough."

soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Renee

    Thanks for letting the whinners know Laila!

    May 7, 2013 at 7:23 am | Report abuse |
  2. Rock

    Id work my way around the ring and tag her in the box

    April 15, 2013 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |

    April 12, 2013 at 7:03 am | Report abuse |
  4. the gossip will be 1,000 times worse now that we know


    April 12, 2013 at 7:02 am | Report abuse |


    April 12, 2013 at 7:00 am | Report abuse |
  6. Set Up Were From Travels....thank ss

    get everything

    April 12, 2013 at 6:59 am | Report abuse |
  7. Ali's sister is involved also


    April 11, 2013 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. T

    I'm looking forward to the movie, it'll be great to see a great athlete that's a nice guy who made a serious mark for civil rights and sports who isn't a alcoholic, druggie, tattooed up freakazoid like the players of today.

    Most of the players today look like America's Most Wanted (or some are...for that matter).
    (Seriously, what's up with the tattoos ? Who thinks this looks "cool" ?! They need a serious head-slap !)

    April 11, 2013 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
  9. Great work observers....cuz she is full of sh!t....


    April 11, 2013 at 6:48 am | Report abuse |
  10. 30-50 Snapshots last night---thanks...

    April 11, 2013 at 3:23 am | Report abuse |
  11. Ellen

    Thank you Ms. takes a "real" woman to call out these "whinners" who make millions of dollars and act like brats...
    You are a class act...
    I look forward to seeing the movie...."42"

    April 10, 2013 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |


      April 11, 2013 at 3:29 am | Report abuse |
  12. Router does not work..friends at cisco...

    you are powerful...baaaaaaaaaaaaaaawaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

    April 10, 2013 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Chet

    42 is a good number. Not as good as 17 or 24 or 27 but its still a nice number.

    April 10, 2013 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Emory

    Yeah. Athletes seem gay.

    April 10, 2013 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Peace ✌

    They retired the #42 for a reason. I look forward to seeing this flick.

    April 10, 2013 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chet

      My teacher said 42 is a happy number. I still like 22 better. I'm 14 right now but when I get 22 I'm going to eat fish sticks and Oreos every day.

      April 10, 2013 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Grossburger

    I wouldn't mind it if Laila beat the living sh!t out of me. That would give me the excuse to just lay there on the ground, staring up her dress.

    April 10, 2013 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |

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