Why Is There a Butterfly on the Louisville Field & Helmets Against Florida State?

Fans tuning into the Florida State-Louisville game today will notice something special on the field today. There was a butterfly with the text “Ali” in the endzones of the game.

Louisville planned a full day of tributes to Muhammad Ali. The team wore Ali tribute decals on the back of their helmets:

Louisville Vice President/Director of Athletics explained the thought behind the tributes.

“The Ali Family has been tremendous supporters of our program. Muhammad Ali’s presence and generosity to our department will never be forgotten and the support Lonnie and her family have given in all aspects have meant a lot to me during the course of my career at the University of Louisville. They are treasured in our community and we wanted to properly thank them for everything they’ve meant to the city and the university,” Jurich said in a statement.

The image of the butterfly comes from a famous Ali quote “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”

While Ali did not attend Louisville, he was a big supporter of his hometown university. Ali attended Central High School which is just a ten minute drive from the Louisville campus.

In addition to the butterfly icons, Louisville will honor his wife, Lonnie, during the game. The tribute will focus on Lonnie’s work in the “Ali in All of Us” initiative.

The Louisville-Florida State college football game marked the first major sporting event in Louisville since Ali passed away on June 3, 2016.