This day in history: Muhammad Ali takes his stand

1967 — Muhammad Ali refuses to be drafted to fight in Vietnam: “No Viet Cong ever called me nigger.”

Although Ali is not charged or arrested for violating the Selective Service Act — much less convicted — the New York State Athletic Commission & World Boxing Association suspends his boxing license and strips him of his heavyweight title in May of 1967, minutes after he officially announces he will not submit to induction.

On June 20th, a federal court convicts Ali for violating the Selective Service Act, handing him a fine and a five-year prison sentence. In 1971, the Supreme Court unanimously overturns the conviction. Ali regained his title in 1974, defeating George Foreman in Zaire.

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