Muhammad Ali’s Son Detained at Airport for Second Time After DC Testimony
Muhammad Ali’s son has claimed he was detained for a second time while attempting to board a flight to Florida.
Muhammad Ali Jr., the son of the late boxing legend, said in a telephone interview with the Sun Sentinel on Friday he was “harassed” while trying to fly from Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington to Fort Lauderdale on Thursday.
He said he was red-flagged while attempting to board the JetBlue flight, and was told his state identification wasn’t acceptable. “I got harassed again,” Ali Jr. told the publication. “They had a ‘red flag’ on my flight. They said I wasn’t able to get on until I talked to Homeland Security.”
“Luckily, I had a passport so they let me on the plane,” he said, before describing how he had been delayed for 25 minutes while he spoke with Homeland Security who asked him to verify his place of birth.
“I don’t see why I have to do that just to get on the plane,” he said. “And another thing. I’m not out of the country. I’m in the United States.”
However, news outlet The Courier-Journal reported a Department of Homeland Security official disputed Ali Jr.’s allegations, and said in an email on Friday, “He was not detained but we are gathering the facts.”
This isn’t the first time Ali Jr. has been detained since President Donald Trump introduced his now-defunct Muslim travel ban back in February. On February 7, Ali Jr. was traveling back to the U.S. from Jamaica with his mother, Khalilah Camacho-Ali, when he was pulled aside by immigration authorities at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
His spokesman Chris Mancini claimed Ali Jr. was held for nearly two hours, and forced to answer questions such as, “Where did you get your name from?” and “Are you Muslim?”
Camacho-Ali showed officers a photo of herself with her famous ex-husband and was not detained, the Miami New Times reported. Her son didn’t have a photo to prove his famous pedigree, even though he does hold a U.S. passport and was born in Philadelphia.