U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he is considering pardoning some 3,000 people, including late boxing champion Muhammad Ali, whose conviction for refusing to join the U.S. military during the Vietnam War was later vacated by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The president, speaking to newsmen before he departed for a Group of Seven summit in Canada, also said he will reach out to NFL players who have been urging criminal justice reforms for their recommendations of people who have been treated unfairly.
NAN reports that Ali was drafted in 1966 and called up for induction in 1967, however he refused to answer to his name or take the oath.
This led to Ali’s arrest and conviction, later overturned on appeal by the U.S. Supreme Court.
In March 1967, one month before his scheduled military induction, Ali explained why he would not be enlisting to fight in Vietnam.
He said:“Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go ten thousand miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights?
“No, I am not going ten thousand miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over.
“If I thought the war was going to bring freedom and equality to 22 million of my people they wouldn’t have to draft me, I’d join tomorrow.
“But I either have to obey the laws of the land or the laws of Allah. I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs. So I’ll go to jail.
“We’ve been in jail for four hundred years.” (Reuters/NAN)