Former heavyweight champion, Ken Norton Sr, passed away today at the age of 70. Norton’s boxing career was highlighted by capturing the heavyweight title in 1973 when he defeated Muhammad Ali.
As a seven-year-old, I had no real grasp on the sport of boxing. I couldn’t tell you much about Ken Norton Sr, or his last career fight that was six and a half years before I was born. Yet, one of my first favorite players in the NFL was his son, former 49ers Linebacker, Ken Norton Jr.
Acknowledging that Norton Jr. celebrated his touchdowns as a tribute to his father, I understood at an early age how endearing it was for Norton Jr.’s touchdown celebrations to transcend football.
I’ll always cherish one of the earliest sports memories from my childhood, exhibited below, and may the late legend, Ken Norton Sr, rest in peace.