Muhammad Ali Jr. travelled to Washington, D.C. this week to urge Congress to end profiling at America’s airports. The son of the world famous boxer was on Capitol Hill to participate in a forum organized by Democratic congresspeople titled "Ali v. Trump: The Fight for American Values." Ali Jr. used his own experience as evidence that the practice is discriminatory and flawed. Ali Jr. was travelling with his mother when he was detained last month for nearly two hours at Ft. Lauderdale airport upon returning from Jamaica, where he was participating in a Black History Month event. Ali Jr., who is a Muslim born in Philadelphia to perhaps the most famous individual of the last century, faced extensive questioning about his religion before being allowed to re-enter the U.S. After his meetings with lawmakers, Ali Jr. went to Reagan National Airport on Friday to fly home to Ft. Lauderdale when, he says, he was promptly detained again.
From the Washington Post:
A lawyer for Ali, Chris Mancini, said that as the son of the former heavyweight champion was trying to board a Jet Blue flight, he was detained by Department of Homeland Security officials for about 20 to 25 minutes. According to comments Mancini made to the New York Daily News, they rejected his identification and repeatedly asked where he was from, before allowing the 44-year-old to board after he produced his U.S. passport.
“A spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration acknowledged the agency confirmed Ali's identity before he boarded his plane,” according to the Associated Press. “Spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said Ali also was patted down because his jewelry set off a checkpoint scanner alarm.”
"None of this was happening Wednesday," Mancini told the AP Friday. "Going to Washington obviously opened up a can of worms at DHS."
*Correction, March 11, 2017: This post originally misspelled Reagan National Airport.