Muhammad Ali's son said his dad wouldn't have supported Black Lives Matter movement or protests over George Floyd's death
Muhammad Ali Jr. (R) said his father, the legendary late boxer and activist Muhammad Ali, would not support Black Lives Matter.
Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images, Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
Muhammad Ali Jr., the son of the late boxing icon Muhammad Ali, told the New York Post in an hour-long interview that his father had not supported the Black Lives Matter movement and called it "racist".
Ali, who died of Parkinson's disease in 2016 at the age of 74, was a well-known activist who joined the Nation of Islam led by Malcolm X in 1964.
Ali Jr. said he believed his father supported the "All life is important" movement, and the legendary boxer believed that current demonstrators were "nothing but the devil" after some demonstrations became destructive.
He said he supports President Trump and think his father would have done the same.
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Muhammad Ali Jr. said he did not believe his father had supported the current Black Lives Matter movement and called the movement's participants "racist," the New York Post reported on Saturday.
"I think it's racist," said Ali Jr., the legendary boxer's only biological son, whose relationship with his father had "completely collapsed" in the last decade of his life.
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He added, "It's not just about black lives, white lives, Chinese lives, all lives, everyone's lives. God loves everyone - he never picked anyone out. Killing is wrong no matter who it is."
"My father would have said," You are nothing but the devil, "Ali Jr., 47, told The New York Post." My father said, "All life is important." I don't think he would agree. "
Ali Jr. pointed out some of the more destructive actions of some demonstrators in recent weeks as part of his own dissatisfaction with the Black Lives Matter movement. While some protests became destructive, especially early, many of the ongoing demonstrations remained peaceful.
"Black Lives Matter is not a peaceful protest. Antifa never wanted it peaceful. I would take them all out," said Ali Jr.
"It's a racist statement," he said of Black Lives Matter. "It puts black people against everyone else. Racist things start to happen; I hate that."
In 2016, Ali's most famous child, television personality and retired boxer Laila Ali, made a similar statement, saying, "All life is important."
"Yes, black lives are important. Yes, white lives are important, Asian lives are important. All lives are important," said the boxing world champion. "And that's exactly what I'm concentrating on."
On Wednesday, Ali said to KTLA that it was "a shame" that the black Americans were still struggling to secure the same things that their father supported.
"His grandchildren even have to fight two generations later, but we will continue because it is about equality between black people and everyone," she said.
After the murder of 46-year-old George Floyd in Minneapolis, nationwide protests against police brutality began. A policeman who has since been released has knelt on Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes, saying that he cannot breathe and even after he has passed out. Three other officers were also released from the Minneapolis Police Department. All four were charged with involvement.
"Don't break yourself, don't break the store," Ali Jr. told The Post. "You can protest peacefully."
As NPR found, his father, the legendary late boxer, often referred to as "The Greatest", was a well-known activist who made headlines in 1967 for refusing to join the US Army in 1967 and his opposition against the Vietnam War, his religious, convictions and his identity as a black Muslim.
In 1964, Ali, born Cassius Clay, joined the Nation of Islam led by Malcolm X and changed his name to Muhammad Ali to ride his "slave name".
In a one-hour interview with the news agency, Ali Jr. defended the police and said they "don't wake up and think," I'm going to kill a man or a white man today. ""
"I never had a bad scene with a cop. They were always nice and protected me. I have no problem with them," he told the New York Post.
While he said the former Minneapolis police officer shouldn't have killed Floyd, he said the story had more to offer.
"The cop was wrong to kill that person, but people don't know that there is more footage than they showed. The guy resisted the arrest, the cop did his job, but he used the wrong tactic "he said, adding that he believed that Antifa, the leaderless decentralized group of leftist activists, was responsible for violent protests and that he agreed with the president that they should be classified as terrorist groups.
Ali Jr. said he believed his father had supported President Trump.
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