President Donald Trump said today that he may consider granting a posthumous pardon to heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali. According to USA Today, if granted it would make Ali just the fourth posthumous pardon in history.
The discussion reportedly came up on Friday as Trump spoke with reporters at the White House prior to his trip to Canada for the G-7 summit. When asked about potential pardons, Trump said, “I’m thinking about Muhammad Ali.” He added, “The pardons are a very positive things for a president. The power to pardon is a beautiful thing.”
It’s worth noting that the conviction Ali would be pardoned for, evading the draft during the Vietnam War, was already overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. He was convicted violating the Selective Service Act for refusing to register for the draft in 1967. He later appealed that conviction to the Supreme Court, which ruled he was entitled to conscientious objector status and overturned the conviction in an 8-0 decision.
Additionally, Trump may seek recommendations from pro football players and other athletes who have protested racial injustice by kneeling during the national anthem. According to the Chicago Tribune, Trump said that “instead talk,” he will ask protesting players to suggest “people that they think were unfairly treated by the justice system.” Trump reportedly said football players have “seen a lot abuse” as well as “a lot unfairness” and he wants their input.