Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Victory Came When He Didn’t Fight. Ali chose not to because he was sincerely opposed to the Vietnam War—which he rightly saw as an imperialist adventure—and indeed to all war.
The sincerity of his pacifism was affirmed by the Supreme Court in an 8-0 decision. (The ninth justice, Thurgood Marshall, recused himself because he had belonged to the NAACP, which supported Ali in the case. Marshall would almost certainly have agreed with the other eight justices.) More importantly it was affirmed by Ali’s own actions, by the fact that he risked a jail sentence of five years and lost millions of dollars and three-and-a-half of his prime years as a champion boxer. Writing in The Nation, Dave Zirin rightly sees Ali as an essential figure who brought together the black liberation movement with the anti-war movement, forging a path followed by Martin Luther King, Jr. who came out against the Vietnam War a year after Ali.
It was Ali’s anti-war stance that made him a global hero. When Muhammad Ali Refused to Go to Vietnam. Muhammad Ali’s stand against the Vietnam War transcended not only the ring, which he had dominated as the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, but also the realms of faith and politics.
“His biggest win came not in the ring but in our courts in his fight for his beliefs,” Eric Holder, the former U.S. attorney general, said Saturday. On March 9, 1966, at the height of the war, Ali’s draft status was revised to make him eligible to fight in Vietnam, leading him to say that as a black Muslim he was a conscientious objector, and would not enter the U.S. military. “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,” he said at the time. “And shoot them for what? They never called me nigger, they never lynched me, they didn’t put no dogs on me, they didn’t rob me of my nationality, rape and kill my mother and father. … Shoot them for what?
The Courier-Journal. 7 Muhammad Ali videos that will remind you he was ‘The Greatest’ in front of cameras. 7 Muhammad Ali videos that will remind you he was ‘The Greatest’ in front of cameras. Boxing legend Muhammad Ali was 'The Greatest' to a world of fans. He antagonized opponents with his taunts, amused reporters with his boasts and angered government officials with his anti-war speeches.
"Just Take Me to Jail": Remembering Muhammad Ali's Refusal to Fight in Vietnam. This is a rush transcript.
Copy may not be in its final form. AMY GOODMAN: Thousands are expected to gather in Louisville on Friday for the funeral of Muhammad Ali, one of the world’s most iconic figures of the 20th century. He was considered by many to be the greatest boxer of all time, but he will also be remembered for his activism against racism and war. Muhammad Ali refuses to fight in Vietnam War. (Boxing is nothing like going to war with machine guns, bazookas, hand grenades, bomber airplanes.
My intention is to box, to win a clean fight. Muhammad Ali explains his refusal to fight in Vietnam (1967) The webserver at Alpha History tells us you're using an adblocking tool, plug-in or browser extension on your computer or network.
We understand that many people don't like web-based advertising. Ads on websites can often be irrelevant, distracting and 'in your face'. Muhammad Ali took a stand and suffered for it. That's what made him great. To the editor: The term “sports hero” is widely used but rarely appropriate.
The abilities to throw, run and jump may be admirable, but do those qualities truly display heroism? (“Muhammad Ali dies at 74; boxing champion became worldwide celebrity,” June 3) Muhammad Ali was different. He distinguished himself from other athletes by transcending the sport of boxing and standing for something. And he suffered greatly for taking his stand. Had he accepted military induction for a war he adamantly felt was immoral, he certainly would have been insulated from danger. I am a baby boomer who likes to think I too have a conscience, if not the courage of Ali, and we too feel we have passed, in part, with our hero. Ron Terranova, Huntington Beach To the editor: Ali has received praise and acclaim, even the highest award given to a civilian by the president. Do not let us forget the soldier who was drafted to take Ali’s place when the boxing champion refused to serve his country. John R. Muhammad Ali refuses Army induction - Apr 28, 1967.
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