On June 20 of 1967 heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali was convicted of evading the draft.“I am a member of the Muslims and we don’t go to no wars unless they are declared by Allah himself,” Ali told Chicago Daily News sports writer Tom Fitzpatrick. Ali was sentenced to 5 years of prison. He was convicted of evading the draft. Which is basically he ran from getting drafted. He was drafted into the military in 1961, for the war at Vietnam. He and 8 others were drafted into the war and he was the only one out of the 8 to refuse.
The case was put off for a while. He was heavyweight champ at the time and was super outspoken. That would soon get him into a bunch of trouble inside the ring and outside the ring. He was known as the “greatest”. His lawyer, Hayden Covington was the most successful attorney versus the Supreme Court. So Ali was confident that he would be the case in the courtroom. Ali has a very strong opinion on the topic. He even said that he was not going to Vietnam to keep torturing the Vietnamese army. The United States clearly has dominant control over the war.
The judge ordered that he gets stripped of his heavyweight championship belt and lose his boxing license. The judge also ordered a grand $10,000 fine. These are the consequences of not attending your duties if you get drafted. Ali said that it was against his religion and had to prove it to the judge. They asked his mother and friends questions about if he was really serious about his religion and if going into the army was really against his religion. Muhammad Ali was sentenced to 5 years in prison. The Supreme Court overruled the decision 4 years later and people are saying that ruined his career maybe. He was in his prime. He missed four years of boxing in his prime. That could have done a lot for his legacy. Four years is a lot of time in boxing. He could of defended his title a bunch of times
I believe that Muhammad Ali was right. He is a black Muslim man. It is against the religion to do what he got drafted to do. Ali said “I ain’t got no quarrel with those Vietcong.” He was aiding with the people who were against the violence. He didn’t want to go to war to kill people. He wanted to fight in the boxing run where he didn’t have to kill anybody. “Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go ten thousand miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights?” Ali is saying that he isn’t going to fight people that are the same skin color as him when black people in America are still being treated like dirt. I agree with Ali. It is unfair that we are worrying about people in a country 10,000 miles away rather than worrying about people getting discriminated against in our own country.
Was there any social issues surrounding the trial? I believe that the social issues around the trial were that black people were not liked at all in America at the time of the events. Muslims were not really liked either and still are discriminated against. Ali was both of those. It didn’t help that he liked to trash talk about how good he was at boxing. The heavyweight champ wasn’t the most humble person. Ali once said “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” And this draft evasion case was the bee that stabbed him right in the back. Do you believe that Muhammad Ali deserved 4 years of jail and a very large fine of $10,000 was appropriate?
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