"Intellectual genius"? C'mon.
They thought Ali was a great fighter, a genius at boxing. And he was.
Nobody said Ali was Aristotle or Kant or Einstein.
Nobody ever said O.J. Simpson -- Nordberg from the Naked Gun flicks -- was a genius either.
Where are you going with these comparisons, anyway?
Apparently you don’t remember how the New York elite would hang on to every word uttered by Cassius and consider it deep wisdom, in a way similar to treatment the fictional Chauncey Gardiner received in Being There. Apparently you don’t watch much television where retired football jocks, presumably as literate as the one time hero O.J. Simpson, whose illiteracy I distinctly recall had not been exposed prior to the murders, how those retired football jocks are treated as deep thinkers. Where can one go with all that except to the ever present guilt of white America over slavery and the Leon Trotsky brilliant invention called “racism”.