Muhammad Ali Arrested for Refusing to Join U.S. Army

Muhammad Ali (1967)
Date: April 28, 1967

Location: Houston, TX

Citing his Islamic faith, heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali refused to join the U.S. Army and was arrested, stripped of his titles and state licenses to fight. Three months later, a jury convicted him after only 21 minutes of deliberation. Ali was initially villified, but as public opinion turned against the Vietnam War, support for the former champion increased. Ali was allowed to fight again in 1970 and the conviction was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court on June 28, 1971.

Muhammad Ali is sentenced to a prison term for draft evasion despite his contention that he was a co