Muhammad Ali Jr., the son of the late boxing legend, said in a telephone interview with the Sun Sentinel on Friday (10Mar17) he was "harassed" while trying to fly from Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington to Fort Lauderdale on Thursday (09Mar17).
The son of the late legendary boxer was also launching a campaign called "Step into the Ring" in the city in opposition to President Donald Trump's controversial travel ban, after he was detained at a Florida Airport for nearly two hours.
Chris Mancini, Ali Jr.'s lawyer, said that the phone call at the ticket counter lasted 20 minutes and called the TSA statement a "pack full of lies".
Muhammad Ali Jr was told that there was a problem and that the agent needed to call the Department of Homeland Security, Mancini was quoted as saying.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) denies that Ali was officially detained but did acknowledge that "a call was made to confirm Mr. Ali's identity with TSA officials", after which Ali was allowed to proceed to the security checkpoint.
The lawyer told the Daily News that "quite obviously" his client has "now been put on a different status, " possibly a watch list, that affects his ability to travel without being questioned. Once Ali gave his passport to the agent, who read the passport number to DHS, he was allowed to go to security.
Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was on the same flight as Ali. The delay came a day after Ali Jr. and his mother and his mother, Khalilah Camacho Ali, spoke to Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill about the impact of President Donald Trump's executive order that restricted entry to the US of people from six Muslim majority nations. "Religiously profiling son of "The Greatest" will not make us safe". It was an outrageous enough moment for the son of America's greatest athlete (and most famous Muslim) that Ali Jr. testified before Congress yesterday about putting a stop to such blatant religious discrimination.
"I was just appalled", Ali said.
The son of boxing legend Muhammad Ali was detained Friday at a US airport for the second time in just over a month, according to his lawyer.
Ali was asked to present another form of identification aside from his state-issued card, even though that form of ID is commonly sufficient for USA citizens to board a domestic flight. The Department of Homeland Security insisted to the News that he was only held up for about 11 minutes. According to Ali Jr., he was repeatedly was asked his name, where his name came from and what his religion was.
"There's no question that this is religious profiling", she said. He was then finally allowed to board the plane.