Billy Crystal paid tribute to his friend Muhammad Ali at The Champ’s memorial service on Friday, but he may have also sneaked in a subtle dig at Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
At the end of his eulogy, Crystal said Ali “taught us that life is best when you build bridges between people, not walls.”
That sounds quite a bit like a line from Hillary Clinton’s victory speech on Tuesday, in which she said, “We believe that cooperation is better than conflict, unity is better than division, empowerment is better than resentment, and bridges are better than walls.”
Of course, Trump has famously promised to build a wall on the border between the United States and Mexico should he get elected in November. The real estate mogul-turned-politician has also called for a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the U.S.
Ali, who died last week at age 74, was one of the most famous American followers of Islam.
Whether or not Crystal’s closing remark was intended as a rebuke to Trump, the comedian delivered an equally touching and hilarious eulogy for Ali.
Crystal recounted how he first met Ali in 1974, when his stand-up act included an impression of both Ali and ABC sportscaster Howard Cosell. The boxer loved the routine, and called Crystal his “little brother” from then on.
He also shared the story of how he and Ali attended Cosell’s funeral together. During the closed-casket service, Ali leaned over to Crystal and whispered, “Little brother, do you think he’s wearing his hair piece?”
When Crystal replied that he didn’t think so, Ali said, “Then how will God recognize him?”