Following the pardon of the first black heavyweight champion Jack Jackson on a trumped-up racially-charged conviction more than one hundred years ago, President Trump is also seriously considering the pardon of the late boxer Muhammad Ali.
Ali was convicted in 1967 for refusing to report for induction into the United States military during the Vietnam War. His local draft board rejected his application for conscientious objector classification.
“He was, look, he was not very popular then, certainly his memory is popular now,” Trump told reporters as he prepared to leave the White House on Friday on a trip to the Group of Seven economic summit in Canada. “I’m thinking about that very seriously, and some others.”
Ali was sentenced to five years in prison. He eventually appealed his conviction, and the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the conviction in 1971 in a unanimous ruling that found the Department of Justice had improperly told the draft board that Ali’s stance wasn’t motivated by his Muslim religious beliefs.
Ali died in 2016 following years of suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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