Boxing champion Muhammad Ali would not have supported the burning of buildings, looting of stores or torching police cars during the protests against the death of George Floyd, his ex-wife said Monday.
Khalilah Ali, a former actress who was married to the boxing legend and civil rights activist from 1967 to 1976, told TMZ Sports her former husband would have supported those marching peacefully in the streets and condemned those who turned to violence to get their message across.
“Muhammad would flip his switch,” she said. “He would go off on everybody in here.
“I know that Ali would retaliate. He would really go off on people and I would love to see him romp and rave over these people hurting people, and burning up our businesses, and hurting people in the streets and burning up police cars. That is uncalled for. Ali would not like that at all.”
Khalilah Ali was with Muhammad when he decided not to fight in the Vietnam War, which cost him his boxing title at the time. She told TMZ Sports the violence needs to stop.
“For the real, honest, nonviolent protesters … keep protesting. Make sure everybody starts learning to vote. Whether you like the system or not, you are the system. So, you can change the world,” she said.
Floyd’s police-involved death last week kicked off widespread protests and unrest across the nation over the course of the week. Video showed Floyd was in custody when Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin held his knee on the man’s neck. Floyd later died in a hospital. Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, authorities said Friday.
Khalilah Ali said there was no excuse for Chauvin’s actions.