In 1966, Muhammad Ali, the heavyweight champion of the world, was banned from boxing in the United States after he refused as a conscientious objector to serve in the army.

“Boxing is nothing like going to war with machine guns, bazookas, hand grenades, bomber airplanes. My intention is to box, to win a clean fight. But in war, the intention is to kill, kill, kill, kill, and continue killing innocent people,” said Muhammad Ali.

As a follower of Elijah Muhammad, and a minister of the Nation of Islam, he said that the war was against the teachings of his religion. Near the end of 1967, Ali was convicted of draft evasion by a Kentucky court and stripped of his world title by the Professional Boxing Commission. He would not fight again professionally for three years. Ali supported himself by giving speeches at college anti-war rallies.

Finally, in 1970, Ali was able to get a boxing license in Georgia, the only state without a boxing commission. The following year, the Supreme Court overturned his conviction for refusing the draft.