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Trump Says He May Pardon Ali; Family Lawyer Says Champ Doesn't Need It

Muhammad_Ali_1966
Wikimedia Commons/Fotocollectie Algemeen Nederlands Persbureau (ANEFO)
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Muhammad Ali

President Donald Trump says he may pardon another late heavyweight boxing champion — this time, Muhammad Ali. Trump tells reporters he's looking at "thousands of names" of people who could be granted clemency.

But Ali attorney Ron Tweel issued a statement Friday pointing out that a pardon for the Louisville native is unnecessary.

“We appreciate President Trump’s sentiment, but a pardon is unnecessary," Tweel's statement read. "The U.S Supreme Court overturned the conviction of Muhammad Ali in a unanimous decision in 1971. There is no conviction from which a pardon is needed.”

Ali refused to enter the military during the Vietnam War, declaring himself a conscientious objector. His decision resulted in a draft-evasion conviction, and he was stripped of his heavyweight boxing crown. Ali's legal fight ended in 1971, when the Supreme Court ruled in his favor.

Trump's already granted a posthumous pardon to boxing's first black heavyweight champion, Jack Johnson, convicted of violating a law that made it illegal to transport women across state lines for "immoral" purposes.

Earlier this week, Trump commuted the life sentence of a woman whose cause was championed by Kim Kardashian West.