Muhammad Ali represents much more than a great sports figure and one of the greatest fighters of all time.He is also the epitome of the citizen protected by the First Amendment– a man who paid dearly for his religious convictions and provocative speech, but found a defense in the amendment’s forty-five words. An examination of First Amendment freedoms through the prism of Ali can teach us much about the fragility of the amendment but also the strength that we all can find in it. The First Amendment provides: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Muhammad Ali’s remarkable career and life placed him at the vortex of these First Amendment freedoms.
Hudson, David L. Jr., "Essay: Understanding First Amendment Freedoms Through The Remarkable Life Of "The Greatest" --Muhammad Ali" (2020). Law Faculty Scholarship. 158.