In 2001, Muhammad Ali was honored with the UCP Humanitarian Award at the United Cerebral Palsy Dinner in New York City, held at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel. Donald Trump presented him with the award, as reported by Getty Images.
When President Obama addressed the nation on Sunday evening with regard to terrorism and gun violence in the United States, as reported by the Inquistir, he stated that Muslims are “sports heroes” for Americans, among making other positive contributions, without specifying anyone in particular.
In response, Donald Trump took to Twitter asking for examples of who these Muslim sports heroes were.
Obama said in his speech that Muslims are our sports heroes. What sport is he talking about, and who? Is Obama profiling?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 7, 2015
Muhammad Ali was quoted by the CBC with a statement said to be aimed at “presidential candidates proposing to ban Muslim immigration to the United States.”
“True Muslims know that the ruthless violence of so called Islamic Jihadists goes against the very tenets of our religion,” Muhammad Ali was quoted, adding, “I believe that our political leaders should use their position to bring understanding about the religion of Islam and clarify that these misguided murderers have perverted people’s views on what Islam really is.”
Mike Tyson, who is said to have given his endorsement to Donald Trump for the Republican presidential nomination, converted to Islam about 10 years ago. Donald Trump is said to have been close friends with Mike Tyson in the 1980s, going so far as a proposing an agreement that would have seen Tyson released from prison after being convicted on rape charges that Mother Jones described as a “form of bribery.”
The Time Donald Trump Tried to Get Mike Tyson Out of Going to Prison for Rape https://t.co/T5tNX3TVlf— Mother Jones (@MotherJones) December 7, 2015
Trump has been photographed with reported Muslim convert NBA star Shaquille O’Neal, according the Huffington Post.
Muslim NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was quoted “Trump is ISIS’s greatest triumph” and professed a belief that Donald’s statements could be interpreted as “hate crimes,” as reported by Info Wars.
Donald Trump was reported to have been in the audience when Muslim Bernard Hopkins beat Felix Trinidad in a September 2001 fight, according to the Los Angeles Times.
There are many successful Muslim athletes. Muhammad Ali is described as being the most well-known Muslim in the world, and he is an athlete. Given that Donald Trump has not only presented an award to Muhammad Ali himself but to have also received one named after him in 2007, it seems apparent that the billionaire may have had a lapse in memory with regard to his Muslim connections and their status as sports heroes.
Muhammad Ali was born Cassius Clay and changed his name in 1964. He was given his new name by the late Elijah Muhammad with the Nation of Islam, according to History. Described as being “the greatest” by ESPN, Ali fought in 61 matches during his career, winning 56. He was a three-time world champion and “undisputed” heavyweight champion of the word for 7 months in 1964. Muhammad Ali is now 73-years-old.
Muhammad Ali refused to serve in the Vietnam War after being drafted in 1966, citing a “conscientious objection,” according to AR Net. He was charged, given a trial, and convicted for his refusal. His punishment was to be five years in prison. Later, Ali’s appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court resulted in the conviction being overturned, and was hailed as a victory by civil rights advocates.
“Muhammad Ali is much more than a boxing legend… He is the man who spoke out against racism and who risked everything.”
Trump would have been 20-years-old when Cassius Clay became Muhammad Ali and had no problem with presenting him with an award in 2001 or receiving one named after him in 2007. It is perhaps not surprising that many media outlets have rushed to report on Trump’s seeming misconception of Muslims’ role in sports.
[Photo by George De Sota/Getty Images/Hulton]