Washington, June 8 (IANS) US President Donald Trump said on Friday that he is considering a pardon for late boxing legend Muhammad Ali, seemingly unaware of the fact that the former world heavyweight champion does not need one.
Ali was convicted in 1967 for refusing to be drafted into the United States military during the Vietnam War.
Regarded as perhaps the greatest boxer of all time, he was sentenced to five years in prison, handed a fine of $10,000 and was banned from boxing for three years.
However, the 1960 Olympics silver medallist appealed against his conviction, and the US Supreme Court handed a unanimous verdict in his favour in 1971.
Trump however, seemed unaware of the facts when he addressed the media ahead of his departure for a Group of Seven economic summit in Canada.
“He was, look, he was not very popular then, certainly his memory is popular now. I’m thinking about that very seriously, and some others,” Trump was quoted as saying by the Chicago Tribune.
“The power to pardon is a beautiful thing,” he added.
Ali’s lawyer Ron Tweel later said that a pardon is not needed because of the Supreme Court’s verdict.
“We appreciate President Trump’s sentiment, but a pardon is unnecessary. The US Supreme Court overturned the conviction of Muhammad Ali in a unanimous decision in 1971,” he said.
“There is no conviction from which a pardon is needed.”