On April 28, 1967, boxing champion Muhammad Ali refuses to be inducted into the U.S. Army and is immediately stripped of his heavyweight title. Ali, a Muslim, cited religious reasons for his decision to forgo military service.
On April 28, 1967, with the United States at war in Vietnam, Ali refused to be inducted into the armed forces, saying “I ain’t got no quarrel with those Vietcong.” On June 20, 1967, Ali was convicted of draft evasion, sentenced to five years in prison, fined $10,000 and banned from boxing for three years. He stayed out of prison as his case was appealed and returned to the ring on October 26, 1970, knocking out Jerry Quarry in Atlanta in the third round. On March 8, 1971, Ali fought Joe Frazier in the “Fight of the Century” and lost after 15 rounds, the first loss of his professional boxing career. On June 28 of that same year, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned his conviction for evading the draft.
Muhammad Ali said: He had “never been accused of political correctness.”
The boxing legend and the American icon, who died on Friday at the age of 74, believed in correcting the society and always spoke out on everything from justice, racism, feminism and the Vietnam War which was embedded in the society which used to victimize the general people.
This video of him confronting a white man, when he was asked to join the draft for the Vietnam War shows how actively he was involved in fighting for the racial discrimination rooted in the society at that time.
He surely had excellent points. Why would/should he go and fight a war against people he has no quarrels or problems with side by side with white men when white men would lynch, tar and feather, discriminate, segregate, and kill his race back at home. Why would he fight together with a white man in another country when back at home he wouldn’t even be allowed to use the same restroom as his so called brother in arms.
He’s even talking about how ridiculous the war was for white folks . The first thing he mentioned is how young white men were racing to go to Switzerland Canada and London. Why is it necessary to flee your country just because you choose not to fight in a war you do not agree with? Why is it necessary to fight for your country when your own country has persecuted your race for 400+ years?
He surely is trying to give some context as to why he made the decision to not fight for a country that did not and would not fight for him. More than that it was actively fighting AGAINST him.
Muhammad Ali growing up as an individually accomplished figure, hailing from different backgrounds from the elite crowd surely had his beliefs and priorities projected towards a bigger picture which later proved to be fruitful for the society.