The boxer, who died Friday night at the age of 74, happened to hear this news while surrounded by reporters, and in a classic, boisterous knee-jerk reaction — I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong — he set off a years-long cultural revolution.
For the most famous athlete on the planet to openly decry the war was, at the time, blasphemous. When he declared his apathy toward the Viet Cong, public support of the Vietnam War was at its peak — in the first three months of 1966, the war’s approval rating was over 50 percent, according to Gallup. Ali, citing his faith and membership in the Nation of Islam, refused service and said he was a conscientious objector.
Read the full article here: Muhammad Ali Risked It All When He Opposed The Vietnam War