President Trump may give a posthumous pardon to boxing great Muhammad Ali, who was convicted of draft evasion. Trump is “looking at literally thousands of names” of other potential people to pardon.
President Trump said on Friday he was considering granting a posthumous pardon to boxing great Muhammad Ali and thousands of other people, NBC News reports. “I am thinking about Muhammad Ali,” Trump told reporters before leaving for the Group of Seven summit in Quebec City. “He was not very popular then, his memory is very popular now,” Trump said. “I’m thinking about that very seriously.” Ali, who died in 2016, was convicted of draft evasion, sentenced to five years in prison and stripped of his heavyweight boxing title after he refused in 1967 to be drafted to fight in the Vietnam War, declaring himself a conscientious objector and citing his Muslim faith.
Ron Tweel, an attorney for Ali, said a pardon of the late boxer was “unnecessary,” noting that the U.S. Supreme Court overturned his conviction in a unanimous decision in 1971. “There is no conviction from which a pardon is needed,” he said, The Hill reports. Trump, who recently pardoned Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight boxing champ, said that he has a list of several thousand other names that he is reviewing for potential pardons. Trump said he was “looking at literally thousands of names.”