Anniversary: Ali Avoids the Draft with Stand in Houston


Fifty years ago, the World Boxing Heavyweight Champion, Muhammad Ali, made headlines for saying he wouldn't be drafted into the U.S. Army. Ali announced he was a conscientious objector -- and the scene played out in Houston.

“No,” he told reporters at the time. “I will not go 10,000 miles from here to help murder another poor people, simply to continue the domination of white slave masters.”

He had no intention of going to southeast Asia.

“I've said it once and I will say it again,” Ali emphasized. “The real enemies of my people are right here, not in Vietnam.”

The Tet Offensive started eight months later and this country was fully involved in the war.

Ali was sentenced to five years in prison, but appealed and never served a day. His boxing career was interrupted for three and a half years. It took the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn his conviction in 1971.


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