Judge Mathis stops in Louisville to talk respect at 'I am Ali' f - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Judge Mathis stops in Louisville to talk respect at 'I am Ali' festival

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Renowned television personality Judge Greg Mathis spent Saturday in Louisville talking about respect and making a difference.

“We need to earn our respect and the respect is not going to come from the barrel of a gun. We have to lay down our guns and pick up our books,” Judge Mathis said to an auditorium full of people at the Muhammad Ali Museum.

It was a strong, clear message to the Louisville Community. The popular television judge was once involved with gangs, dropped out of school, and spent time behind bars before turning his life around. He came to town as part of the “I am Ali” festival, where he spoke about respect and conviction -- something the Champ had conquered not just as an athlete, but as a humanitarian.

“Who was Muhammad Ali? Well he was one of the greatest human beings to come through. He was a man of faith, a man of conviction, a man of respect,” Judge Mathis said.

That message even resonated with some of the youngest in the crowd to be their own version of Ali.

“Every morning I say I want to be the best me I can be and now I just want to be better than that. Be better every single day,” Caden Gunn said.

The week Muhammad Ali died Louisville did not see a single killing. It's an example of what could be.

But at a time when Louisville has seen some of its most violent and darkest days, Judge Mathis says it's time for a change.

“If you want respect you got to earn it. And the first way for earning respect is caring for your family, not killing your family and community,” he said.

He added it also starts with learning to respect yourself.

“You have to pursue empowerment of yourself. Incremental success as I like to call it sometimes. You're right sometimes it is hard, but if you'll get a little bit of success at a time, that encourages you,” Judge Mathis said.

“It doesn't matter where you come from. But you can succeed any time, any place,  anywhere,” Gunn said at the end of the event.

Judge Mathis’ speech on Respect was part of the fourth week of the “I am Ali” festival. Festival events go until July 1.

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