Muhammad Ali's unfair treatment not forgotten by his family

4 days ago
Muhammad Ali


Actualizado 09/07/2024 - 13:40 CDT

Muhammad Ali's incredible boxing career and legacy as an iconic athlete may seem like nothing new, yet there was a time when Ali wasn't universally revered.

It seems difficult to comprehend in the 2020s, yet Ali was virtually shunned by American society in the 1960s due to his unwillingness to participate in the Vietnam War.

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You have to remember, the 60s was a time when renowned sports stars weren't the coddled individuals many see the icons of today as. If there was a military conflict involving the United States, they were expecting to answer the call of duty.

Ali, though, was one of the few individuals who refused, instead citing his own religious beliefs as the reason why he simply couldn't go abroad and participate in armed conflict.

It was a decision that had an impact on his boxing career, and the WBA virtually attempted to blackball him from the sport, which could have ensured few modern pugilists would hold Ali in the esteem in which they almost universally do.

This mistreatment has not been forgotten by Ali's family, even after his death, and in an upcoming PBS documentary about Ali's life, this episode is described by those closest to him.

What happened to Muhammad Ali in 1967?

With almost 100 American soldiers dying every single day, support for anti-war policies grew. During this time, the World Boxing Association stripped Muhammad Ali of his heavyweight title because he refused to enlist in the army for the Vietnam War.

His eldest daughter, Maryum Ali, recently shared a lesser-known clip of her father, showcasing his fight against the system to uphold his beliefs.

Muhammad Ali was more than an athlete after Vietnam episode

Maryum Ali, a social activist, often posts quotes and photos of her father on social media. She shared a clip from the PBS documentary series by Ken Burns and Sarah Burns on her Instagram. In the video, a reporter asks Ali if he felt he was being persecuted.

"If I'm condemned for being a Muslim, you can damn it be because you hate to see a black man standing on his own two feet," Ali replied.

"You are telling the black world that you never want to see a black man independent and this is all you are doing, and this only makes me bigger."

Maryum's caption highlighted that the WBA unfairly stripped him of his title, deeming him "unbecoming of a champion."

Ali was convicted of draft evasion, sentenced to five years in prison, fined 10,000 dollars, and banned from boxing for three years. He returned to the ring in October 1970.

Ali believed it was unjust to fight against people of color in a poor country for a privileged nation like America.

"My conscience won't let me go shoot my brother, or some darker people, or some poor, hungry people in the mud for big, powerful America."

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