Muhammad Ali, Jr. is the only biological son of boxer Muhammad Ali and a devout Muslim. He says that he believes his father, who went to prison for refusing induction into the military, would have thought that Black Lives Matter was “racist” and members were “devils.”
In addition to being a world champion boxer, Ali, Sr. was also an activist who frequently spoke out against racism. His son says his dad would have been “sickened by how the protests have turned to violence and looting after the death of George Floyd.”
“Don’t bust up s–t, don’t trash the place,” he told The Post. “You can peacefully protest.
‘‘My father would have said, ‘They ain’t nothing but devils.’ My father said, ‘all lives matter.’ I don’t think he’d agree.
Of the BLM movement, Ali Jr., a Muslim like his father, said: “I think it’s racist.”
“It’s not just black lives matter, white lives matter, Chinese lives matter, all lives matter, everybody’s life matters. God loves everyone — he never singled anyone out. Killing is wrong no matter who it is,” Ali said during an hour-long interview with The Post.
Ali, Jr., a resident of the violent, crime-ridden Englewood neighborhood in Chicago, also thinks the police are misunderstood in the black community.
On police brutality, Ali defended law enforcement in general.
“Police don’t wake up and think, ‘I’m going to kill a n—-r today or kill a white man,’” he said. “They’re just trying to make it back home to their family in one piece.
Speaking of Floyd’s killing at the knee of a white Minneapolis police officer, Ali said, “The officer was wrong with killing that person, but people don’t realize there was more footage than what they showed. The guy resisted arrest, the officer was doing his job, but he used the wrong tactic.”
And he agrees with Trump about Antifa:
“They’re no different from Muslim terrorists. They should all get what they deserve. They’re f–king up businesses, beating up innocent people in the neighborhood, smashing up police stations and shops. They’re terrorists – they’re terrorizing the community. I agree with the peaceful protests, but the Antifa, they need to kill everyone in that thing.
“Black Lives Matter is not a peaceful protest. Antifa never wanted it peaceful. I would take them all out.”
How much of Ali, Sr’s. philosophy is actually reflected in Ali, Jr’s. words? It’s impossible to say, of course. But the elder Muhammad Ali strongly resisted attempts by the civil rights movement to co-opt his celebrity. He was a black activist with an independent streak. In some ways, he was more radical than Black Lives Matter. But what made him a much-admired figure throughout the world was his consistent stand against racism — all racism, including hate by blacks against whites.
He took his Muslim faith very seriously even after he discovered the truth about the Nation of Islam founder Elijah Mohammed. In time, he reconciled his radicalism with being an American. He lit the Olympic torch to kick off the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.
I doubt whether Muhammad Ali, Sr. would have nice things to say about the police, but he probably would have condemned Black Lives Matter and Antifa for advocating violence.