Muhammad Ali's Son May Sue Over Airport Detention

Attorney says Ali Jr. was held for 2 hours because he's Muslim
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2017 6:01 AM CST
Muhammad Ali's Son May Sue Over Airport Detention
A 1975 photo of Muhammad Ali throwing a punch against Joe Frazier.   (AP Photo/Mitsunori Chigita, File)

The family of Muhammad Ali is threatening a lawsuit after one of his sons was detained at a Florida airport and asked about his religion. Customs officials held Muhammad Ali Jr., 44, for about two hours at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport when he flew in from Jamaica with his mother, reports the Miami New Times. They let Khalilah Camacho-Ali, the late boxing legend's first wife, go through after she produced a photo of herself with her ex-husband, but Ali's son had no such photo, says family attorney and friend Chris Mancini. They kept asking him, "Where did you get your name from?" and "Are you Muslim?" Mancini tells the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Citing privacy restrictions, a spokeswoman for US Customs and Border Protection would not comment specifically on the incident, but she said that "all international travelers arriving in the US are subject to CBP inspection." Ali and his mother had been in Jamaica to speak at a Black History Month event. Mancini says the family is considering a lawsuit because it amounts to "classic customs profiling" over Ali's last name, and he blames the White House. "To the Ali family, it's crystal clear that this is directly linked to Mr. Trump's efforts to ban Muslims from the United States." Ali and his mother live in Deerfield Beach, about 20 minutes from the airport. (More Muhammad Ali stories.)

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