Pardon? Muhammad Ali's camp says no pardon necessary
Pardon? Muhammad Ali's camp says no pardon necessary
President Trump said he may pardon deceased boxing great Muhammad Ali
10 June, 2018, 19:14
They spoke out after the president made the offer as he departed the White House for the G7 summit in Quebec Friday, telling reporters he was "thinking about Muhammad Ali" for the latest in a spate of pardons.
Ali, who died on June 3, 2016, refused to enter the military during the Vietnam War, declaring himself a conscientious objector.
Although Ali's conviction was overturned by the Supreme Court in 1971, it had a massive impact on his boxing career, as he didn't fight for more than three years, from March 1967 until October 1970, as no state would license him to box.
Trump has also floated a possible pardon for TV personality Martha Stewart and potentially commuting the sentence of former IL governor Rod Blagojevich, who was convicted on corruption charges in 2011.
"I'm thinking about somebody that you all know very well, and he went through a lot and he wasn't very popular then", Trump said.
Ali, then known as Cassius Clay, was convicted in 1967 of dodging the USA draft during the War in Vietnam. "I want to do people who are unfairly treated like Alice". "And some others and some folks whose have sentences that aren't fair".
In a tweet, Trump said that Johnson's "trials and tribulations were great, his life complex and controversial".
It was unclear why Trump would consider a pardon, given that Ali's conviction was overturned. "I have an absolute right to pardon myself", he said, but doesn't need to do that because he did nothing wrong.
Trump's comments are more than just ill-informed and embarrassing-they're also getting a lot of backlash in light of the recent actions taken with the NFL.
Boxers, historians, academics, and politicians had pushed for a pardon for Johnson for 14 years. O.J. Simpson, he said in response to a reporter's question, is not on his list.
Her case was brought to Trump s attention by reality TV starKim Kardashian, while Jack Johnson s was championed by actor Sylvester Stallone of "Rocky" fame. The similarities between Ali and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who started the controversial protests against racism and police violence by kneeling during the national anthem, have been noted by those who have studied two men.
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He is expected to leave the summit early on Saturday, missing sessions on climate change and the state of the oceans. Trump slapped tariffs on steel and aluminum, these leaders have taken a more confrontational approach.
Trump himself told reporters on Saturday that the summit was not contentious and called his relationship with G7 allies a "10". Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed afterwards to press ahead with retaliatory tariffs on 1 July.
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