51 years ago today, on April 28, 1967, Muhammad Ali refused to participate in the Vietnam war when his name was called.

He said:

“Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on brown people in Vietnam after so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights?”

And:

“I ain’t got nothing against no Viet Cong; no Viet Cong never called me nigger.”

Because of his anti-war stance he was systematically denied a boxing license in every state and stripped of his passport. As a result, he did not fight from March 1967 to October 1970—from ages 25 to almost 29—as his case worked its way through the appeals process before his conviction was overturned in 1971. During this time of inactivity, as opposition to the Vietnam War began to grow and Ali’s stance gained sympathy, he spoke at colleges across the nation, criticizing the Vietnam War and advocating African American pride and racial justice.

(Article put together based on Wikipedia and TeleSUR)

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