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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. Ali’s words carried the force of his personality. 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? A little more than a year later, on April 28, 1967, Ali, then 25 years old, appeared in Houston for his scheduled induction into the U.S. military. I find nothing amusing or interesting or tolerable about this man. Muhammad Ali | 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. At the same time, he goaded a stubborn, hard-nosed society with his stinging jabs against pervasive racism.

He is survived by his nine children, including daughter Laila, who, like her father, became a world champion boxer; and his fourth wife, Lonnie. Ali was known in the ring for his lightning hand speed -- unusual for a heavyweight -- for his showmanship and for his brashness and braggadocio when a microphone was put before him. He taunted opponents before matches, trash-talked them during and proclaimed his greatness to reporters afterward.

He stayed on his toes, literally, during a bout, sometimes quickly moving his feet forward and backward while his upper body stayed in place. The mesmerizing move became known as the "Ali Shuffle. " Fans on every continent adored him, and at one point he was the probably the most-recognizable man on the planet. "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.

He died Friday in Arizona after suffering for decades from Parkinson’s syndrome. Muhammad Ali was born Cassius Clay in Louisville in 1942. He first gained fame in 1960 when he won the gold medal at the Olympic Games in Rome. NEWSREEL: But the most popular U.S.A. winner was the lighthearted Cassius Marcellus Clay V, in white here, who easily defeated Poland’s Zbigniew Pietrzykowski. AMY GOODMAN: After winning the gold medal, the young Cassius Clay returned to the segregated South. MUHAMMAD ALI: Won the Olympic gold medal in Rome, Italy, Olympic champion—the Russian standing right here, and the Pole right here. MICHAEL PARKINSON: Yeah. 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. But in war, the intention is to kill, kill, kill, kill, and continue killing innocent people.) Heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali (1942-2016) was outspoken about many political issues, including his opposition to the Vietnam War. Ali was drafted in 1966 and called up for induction in 1967, however he refused to answer to his name or take the oath. This led to Ali’s arrest and conviction, later overturned on appeal by the US Supreme Court. In March 1967, one month before his scheduled military induction, Ali explained why he would not be enlisting to fight in Vietnam: Ali was known in the ring for his flashing hand speed — unusual for a heavyweight — for his showmanship and also for his brashness and braggadocio when a microphone was put before him.

Ali was born January 17, 1942, in Louisville as Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. 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’. Without ads, however, our website would not exist – or it would not be free. Ads are how we fund the creation and delivery of our content. We love providing free textbook-quality content and resources to people like you. If you would like to use our website and its resources, please disable your adblocker or whitelist our website. To access the Alpha History website, please complete one of the following steps: * Disable or deactivate your adblocking software, tool or plug-in. * Whitelist our top level domain ( in your adblocking software.

Thank you for your understanding. Have a nice day! Alpha History staff. 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. 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. Perhaps that replacement went to Vietnam. John R. Muhammad Ali refuses Army induction - Apr 28, 1967. Also on this day Lead Story On this day in 1945, “Il Duce,” Benito Mussolini, and his mistress, Clara Petacci, are shot by Italian partisans who had captured the couple as they attempted to flee to Switzerland.

The 61-year-old deposed former dictator of Italy was established by his German allies as the figurehead of a puppet government... American Revolution In a letter dated April 28, 1776, from Savannah, Georgia, Colonel Lachlan McIntosh informs General George Washington that he is pleased with his recruitment efforts in the colony. However, McIntosh’s news was not all good: he concluded his letter with the report that because the South had limited manufacturing... Automotive On April 28, 1916, Ferruccio Lamborghini, the founder of the company that bears his name and is known for stylish, high-performance cars, is born in Italy. Civil War Union General Daniel Ullmann is born in Wilmington, Delaware. Cold War Crime Disaster General Interest Hollywood Literary Poet T.S. Music Old West Presidential.