Saturday, June 29, 2013

June 28: Supreme Court rules on Muhammad Ali

On this date in History ... June 28, 1971:

The Supreme Court unanimously overturned the lower courts in “Clay vs. the United States” in boxer Muhammad Ali’s (Cassius Clay) refusal to be drafted.  Clay had refused, based on his conversion to Islam, to go to Vietnam and shoot people "who never called me nigga....."

Ali would go on to become the first and only 3-time lineal World Heavyweight Champion. He won an Olympic Gold Medal in 1960 (his amateur records was 100 wins with 5 losses). Legend has it that he threw the medal in the Ohio River after being refused service in a whites-only restaurant. He was presented with a replacement medal at the 1996 Olympics, where he lit the torch to start the games.  

In 1993, the Associated Press reported that Ali was tied with Babe Ruth as the most recognized athlete, out of over 800 dead or alive athletes, in America. The study found that over 97% of Americans over 12 years of age identified both Ali and Ruth.

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