Succeeding Muhammad Ali

THE year was 1967 and the world was changing fast. It was the start of a revolution in which society could express its feelings in a way it had never before. It was the age of long-haired hippies, the raised fist signifying the black power movement, riots protesting the Vietnam war, young people smoking marijuana as their recreational activity of choice, and virtually anything else that went against the grain of the accepted norm.

It was the era of The Beatles, Martin Luther King, Robert Francis Kennedy, and of course Muhammad Ali. JFK and Malcolm X had been assassinated earlier in the decade, and in 1968, MLK and RFK were to follow. Much later, John Lennon would meet a similar fate. But perhaps the man at the greatest risk, the one despised more than any other person walking the face of the earth escaped the violent destiny that had befell the others. But Ali did pay a heavy price, when on April 28, 1967 he refused to take the oath to serve in the United States military. He was immediately stripped of his world heavyweight title while having his boxing licence revoked.

Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali would become a figure of protest The Courier-Journal/USA Today Sports

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