Four years have passed since the death of Muhammad Ali. Yet the legendary boxer and activist still looms large when it comes to racial injustice and social protest. Now two of his children are offering differing views on who their father was and what he really stood for.
In a recent article published in the New York Post, Muhammad Ali Jr., the champs only biological son, made several controversial statements regarding his father. Most of them centered around what he felt his father would think about "Black Life Matters" and the presidency of Donald Trump.
Ali Jr., also a Muslim, suggested that Black Lives Matter was a divisive movement.
"My father would have said, 'They ain't nothing but devils," said Ali. "My father said, 'All lives matter.' It's not just black lives matter, white lives matter, Chinese lives matter, all lives matter, everybody's life matters. God loves everyone — he never singled anyone out. I don't think he'd agree.
"It's a racial statement; it's pitting black people against everyone else. It starts racial things to happen; I hate that," Ali said during his NY Post interview.
Talking about Floyd's killing by a white Minneapolis police officer, Ali said, "The officer was wrong with killing that person, but people don't realize there was more footage than what they showed. The guy resisted arrest, the officer was doing his job, but he used the wrong tactic."
In speaking about Donald Trump, Ali said he supports the president and that his father — who openly fought against racism — would have too.
"I think Trump's a good president. My father would have supported him. Trump's not a racist; he's for all the people. Democrats are the ones who are racist and not for everybody."
However, the champs daughter, Maryam 'May May' Ali, has responded with her own statement about what her father would have thought. She says her brother's words do not represent the father she knew.
"It is evident where my father, Muhammad Ali, would have stood with regards to racism and injustice," stated May May. "His legacy of speaking for himself on these issues are in alignment with the BLM movement."
May May also suggested that the right-wing was responsible for this story.
"There is a desperate attempt from the right-wing to use the Ali name for their political agenda. The interview my brother gave to the NY Post is not legitimate with regards to what Muhammad Ali would have supported."
"The Greatest" had nine children — Muhammad Jr., eight daughters and an adopted son, Asaad Amin — with four wives. Junior was the fourth-born to first wife Belinda Boyd, who converted to Islam and now goes by Khalilah Ali.
After retiring, the champ married his final wife, Lonnie Ali, in 1986.