The only biological son of legendary boxer, Muhammad Ali, has claimed his father would never have supported the Black Lives Matter movement if he were alive, calling it “racist” and referring to the protesters as “devils,” the New York Post reports.
The #BLM movement has reignited over the past few weeks after the death of George Floyd, the 46-year-old Black man who lost his life after Minnesota cop, Derek Chauvin, was filmed kneeling on his neck for almost nine minutes despite pleading he could not breathe. Floyd’s death sparked protests against police brutality and systemic racism in the United States.
In an interview with The Post, however, Muhammad Ali Jr. claims his father, who was an ardent and outspoken civil rights activist, would have been left “sickened” by the rioting and looting that have accompanied the largely peaceful demonstrations.
“Don’t bust up s–t, don’t trash the place,” he said. “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.”
About how he personally feels about the Black Lives Matter movement, Ali Jr. 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,” he said, going as far as defending the police.
“Police don’t wake up and think, ‘I’m going to kill a n—-r today or kill a white man,’” he claimed. “They’re just trying to make it back home to their family in one piece.”
Ali Jr., who became estranged from his father about 10 years before his death and has been living in poverty, also spoke about George Floyd’s death.
“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,” he said.
Self-proclaiming himself as the “world’s greatest”, Ali died while undergoing treatment at HonorHealth Scottsdale Osborn Medical Center in Scottsdale, Arizona, on June 3, 2016, after he was admitted with a respiratory problem. For more than three decades, the boxing legend also battled Parkinson’s Disease, which cut short his boxing career in the early 80s.
A staunch civil rights activist, Ali vehemently opposed the Vietnam War and refused to be conscripted into the US military in 1967. For his refusal, he was arrested and found guilty of draft evasion.
After the ruling, Ali was stripped of his heavyweight title and did not participate in any boxing competition for close to four years. His conviction was later overturned in 1971 by the Supreme Court of the United States.
Admitting he supports Trump, Ali Jr. told The Post his father would have also endorsed the current president, and called out former president, Barack Obama.
“I think Trump’s a good president. My father would have supported him. Trump’s not a racist, he’s for all the people. Democrats are the ones who are racist and not for everybody.
“These [Democrat politicians] saying Black Lives Matter, who the hell are you to say that? You’re not even black.
“Democrats don’t give a s–t about anybody. Hillary Clinton doesn’t give a s–t; she’s trying not to get locked up.
“Trump is much better than Clinton and Obama. … The only one to do what he said he would do is Donald Trump.”
Ali Jr.’s strained relationship with his father before his death is well-known, with the 47-year-old father of two showing little to no remorse about his father’s health condition during an interview years before his death.
“I know that the last thing about Parkinson’s is being bed ridden, and he’s been laid up in bed for months,” Ali Jr., who blames his stepmother, Lonnie Williams, for his estrangement from his father, said.
“It’s just not something that I worry about, I’ve got more things to worry about than my father, I got to live life, I’ve got to have a roof over my head, whether someone else is doing good or not, is no concern to me.”