50 Yrs. After The Brothers ‘Showed up’ to Support the Champ –The “Ali Summit”
by: Bruce Schreiner
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Muhammad Ali was on the ropes for refusing induction into the Army, and Jim Brown wanted to help. But first, the NFL great wanted to hear the boxing champion’s reasons for not answering the call to military service during the Vietnam War.
So Brown led a group of prominent Black athletes who hit Ali with a flurry of questions during a two-hour meeting in Cleveland in June 1967. Ali didn’t duck the questions and stuck to his principles, citing his religious beliefs in refusing to join the military.
The dozen athletes, including Bill Russell and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, emerged from the meeting to publicly support Ali at a time when the champ was one of the country’s most polarizing figures.
“People got the answers that they wanted,” Brown recalled Saturday as several of the participants prepared to reunite with Ali.
Nearly 50 years after the meeting, now known as the “Ali Summit,” Brown and Russell prepared to be at Ali’s side again Saturday night in the boxing champ’s hometown.
[Continue reading the article at Afro.com.]