Muhammad Ali Jr. is blaming Donald Trump’s so-called Muslim ban or immigration restriction for being detained for more than three hours at a Florida airport – just because of his name.
The son of the late boxer and activist is also thinking about suing local and federal authorities for what he deemed were illegal actions by officials at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport.
In a statement issued by Mr. Ali’s representative, it was revealed that on February 7, as he was returning from a brief vacation in Jamaica with his mother, Khalilah Ali, he was stopped by immigration officers.
According to Ali Jr.’s spokesman, Chris Mancini, his client was asked several times if he was a Muslim.
He was also interrogated on his name, and it appears that police did not believe that he was the son of the boxing legend who used to protest injustices towards African Americans.
Unhappy with the responses he gave, police escorted Ali to a small room where he was further interrogated for over three hours.
The 44-year-old man said during that period his mother Khalilah Ali – Muhammad Ali’s first wife – was panicking because she was not able to find or get in contact with him.
Jr. is weighing his options and might sue the US Treasury and Homeland Security over the incident.
He is also considering joining many others and file the lawsuit as a class action.
Mancini believes this incident hints at a larger issue of profiling and discrimination. Mr. Ali was detained days after a legal ping-pong match took place between the Trump administration and federal judges.
The executive order signed by Trump banned refugees and other travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S. It also canceled visas that were issued.
Two federal judges halted President Trump’s immigration ban, which is set to either be debated at the Supreme Court or modified and reissued by Trump. The president hinted at the latter.