Muhammad Ali Wasn’t Afraid To Mix Up Sports And Politics

Heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali stands over fallen challenger Sonny Liston in Lewiston, Maine on May 25, 1965.
Heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali stands over fallen challenger Sonny Liston in Lewiston, Maine on May 25, 1965. AP Photo/John Rooney
Heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali stands over fallen challenger Sonny Liston in Lewiston, Maine on May 25, 1965.
Heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali stands over fallen challenger Sonny Liston in Lewiston, Maine on May 25, 1965. AP Photo/John Rooney

Muhammad Ali Wasn’t Afraid To Mix Up Sports And Politics

This fall sports, politics and social justice have collided in a way we have not seen in decades.  Ongoing protests by NFL players over police brutality and systemic racism have opened a debate over whether players should “use their platform” to make political statements. 

One of the first and most prominent athletes to “use his platform” was Muhammad Ali. Today, we think of him both a champion boxer and a champion equal rights, but back in the 1960s, his activism was frowned upon by many. Morning Shift speaks with author Jonathan Eig about his biography, Ali: A Life, and how Ali's legacy resonates today.