Trump considers a posthumous pardon for Muhammad Ali
US President Donald Trump said on Friday he is considering pardoning some 3,000 people, including the late boxing champion Muhammad Ali, whose conviction for refusing to join the US military during the Vietnam War was later vacated by the US Supreme Court.
The president, while speaking to newsmen before he departed for a Group of Seven summit in Canada, also said he would reach out to NFL players who had been urging criminal justice reforms for their recommendations of people who had been treated unfairly.
Ali, who was drafted in 1966 and called up for induction in 1967, refused to answer to his name or take the oath.
This led to Ali’s arrest and conviction, which was later overturned on appeal by the US Supreme Court.
In March 1967, one month before his scheduled military induction, Ali had explained why he would not be enlisting to fight in Vietnam.
He said, “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?
“No, I am not going ten thousand miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over.
“If I thought the war was going to bring freedom and equality to 22 million of my people they wouldn’t have to drafted me, I’d join tomorrow.
“But I either have to obey the laws of the land or the laws of Allah. I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs. So I’ll go to jail.
“We’ve been in jail for four hundred years.”