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Friday, April 26, 2013

Muhammad Ali And The Vietnam War

Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay), the deposed world heavyweight boxing champion, told an anti-war rally at the University of Chicago on May 11, 1967 that there is a difference between fighting in the ring and fighting in Vietnam. (Charles Harrity/AP)Muhammad Ali is seen at a news conference in Louisville, Kentucky, April 20, 1967, to say he will not accept military service of any nature when he is called for induction In Houston on April 28. He said "I ain't got no quarrel with them Viet Cong," and that the real enemy of his people "is right here" and not in Vietnam or anywhere else.  (AP)Muhammad Ali, left, assumes his former fighting stance while joking around with Vietnamese people on the path outside of Ho Chi Minh's former home in Hanoi, Vietnam on Wednesday, May 11, 1994.  Ali visited the families of American and Vietnamese servicemen still missing from the war, nearly three decades after he was convicted of draft evasion for refusing to fight on the battlefields. (Lois Raimondo/AP)Former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali visits with a patient at St. Paul's hospital in Hanoi on Thursday, May 12, 1994. (Lois Raimondo/AP)This undated photo released by the Museum of Modern Art shows the April 1968 cover of Esquire Magazine, which shows Muhammad Ali posing as St. Sebastian pierced with arrows. The magazine cover, designed by George Lois, was one of the most iconic images of the decade, tying together the incendiary issues of Vietnam, race and religion. (Museum of Modern Art/AP)

As the great boxer Muhammad Ali continues to suffer from Parkinson’s Disease, we look back to one of the turning points in the former world heavyweight champion’s fascinating life.

In April 1967, he refused to serve in the Vietnam War.

The BBC’s Simon Watts looks back at this history.

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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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