Not sure if Donald Trump believes that all deceased black boxers need pardoning or if he just likes pardoning things, but during his nearly 18-minute rant on the White House lawn Friday before heading off to embarrass America once again on the global stage at the G-7 summit, the president floated the idea of pardoning the late boxing great Muhammad Ali, who has no criminal record and doesn’t need to be pardoned.
Trump noted that he was thinking “very seriously” about pardoning Ali as well as other “folks that have some sentences that aren’t fair,” the Washington Post reports.
“He was, look, he was not very popular then; certainly his memory is popular now,” Trump told reporters.
And isn’t that the truth. In fact, stop me if you’ve heard this before: Ali was called un-American for his stance against the Vietnam War. He was considered un-American for his unapologetic pro-blackness. Does any of this sound familiar (looking at you, kneeling NFL players)? History has a way of whitewashing the bad parts of white America to make it appear that everyone was always righteous, when, in fact, like the 53 percent of white women who voted for Trump, they are actively against progress.
The Post notes that “Ali was convicted in 1967 for refusing to report for induction into the United States military during the Vietnam War. His local draft board rejected his application for conscientious objector classification”—which is hilarious considering that President Bone Spurs deferred five times from the same war despite being a picture of perfect health before the war.
“We appreciate President Trump’s sentiment, but a pardon is unnecessary. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the conviction of Muhammad Ali in a unanimous decision in 1971,” Ron Tweel, who has represented Ali and his family since 1986, told NBC News. “There is no conviction from which a pardon is needed.”
That won’t stop Trump; someone on his staff is looking for someone named Muhammad Ali who needs pardoning.
Ali died in 2016, but he fought up until the end for justice. In December 2015, he released a statement slamming then-candidate Trump’s proposal for a Muslim ban in the United States. “We as Muslims have to stand up to those who use Islam to advance their own personal agenda,” Ali said.
So it’s safe to say that while President PardonFace von GoFuckUrSelf is on a pardoning spree, he can miss the greatest boxer of all time with his bullshit because he doesn’t need it—and it’s a safe bet to assume that even if he did, he wouldn’t want it from this 1988 Eagle Premier-ass administration.