The former wife of venerated boxer Muhammad Ali blasted Donald Trump twice with one swipe for ignorantly telling the media that he was considering providing a presidential pardon for the beloved pugilist and activist.
First off, Muhammad Ali doesn’t need a presidential pardon. And if he were alive he probably wouldn’t want one from an unscrupulous rapacious politician like Trump.
Khalilah Ali, who was married to Muhammad Ali from 1967 to 1976, basically said Trump is getting his rocks off on granting pardons lately. But she added that Trump is wasting his time with Ali and should, instead, pivot his thinking and start appropriating his focus on people who are actually alive and languishing in prison.
Khalilah Ali was speaking with TMZ when she revealed that she was “shocked” as she watched the news and listened as an arrogant Trump tell the media he was considering pardoning Ali — most likely for his famous conviction for resisting the draft in 1971.
For those who may not know, Muhammad Ali was publicly excoriated when he joined the Nation of Islam right after beating Sonny Liston to win the heavyweight championship in boxing in 1964. Back then, boxing was one of America’s favorite sports. Consequently, Ali’s enemies were very eager to see him arrested and convicted when Ali later told the U.S. military that he refused to enter the draft for a country that treated him and his fellow Blacks like second-class citizens.
Ali was maligned and vilified by Caucasian Americans, was sentenced to prison, banned from the sport of boxing and also fined $10K for his conscientious and religious objection to the war in Vietnam. After three years of near destitution from his inability to earn an honest living, Ali’s conviction was finally overturned by the Supreme Court in 1970.
As a result of the Supreme Court’s decision, Khalilah told the TMZ that “there’s no necessary reason for a pardon,” and that Trump’s public pronouncements and posturing are for political expediency and to score more points with the right-wing electorate.
“I think [Trump] probably was a fan of Ali and he thought he would say something positive about him. That might be it … but it’s a little too late.”
Khalilah Ali challenged Trump, insinuating that Trump really doesn’t care about Ali or for what he actually stood for and was willing to rot in prison for. However, the ex-wife said if Trump really respects what Ali stood for, Trump should “pardon” Colin Kaepernick and the rest of the NFL players who chose to exert their First Amendment privileges and kneel during the national anthem. In other words, Khalilah Ali says Trump should stop grandstanding and pillorying the players for standing up for what they believe in — only to score points with the racist White “patriots” of America.
“If you’re willing to say it’s OK for Muhammad Ali to be pardoned for his freedom and standing up his rights and standing up for not going to the army, then you’re telling me that you’re ready to pardon everybody that has done that in the same manner as Muhammad Ali has.”