Muhammad Ali Jr. Stopped at Airport Again, One Day After Speaking out About Profiling

March 11th 2017

Willie Burnley Jr.

Muhammad Ali Jr. was stopped Friday at Reagan National Airport in Washington D.C. before boarding a flight back to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

At the time, Ali was traveling with his lawyer, Chris Mancini, and trying to obtain his boarding pass when he was told by a Jet Blue Agent that his Illinois ID was invalid for flying and that the Department of Homeland Security would have to be called. It was the same ID that Ali used in order to fly to Washington, according to Mancini. Eventually, Ali showed the agent his passport and was able to proceed toward security after what Mancini estimated was around 20 minutes.

A day earlier, Ali spoke at a Congressional forum about being detained at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in February.

He revealed that he was questioned by border patrol agents about his religion and how he received his name. He urged the members of the Democratic subcommittee on border issues to support the Ending Racial Profiling Act (ERPA), a bill which would outlaw racial profiling by all law enforcement across the country.

Ali has said previously that he has been religiously and racially profiled during flights, even going so far as to tie his treatment to the policies of President Trump. During the forum in Washington, Ali called to an end to the Trump's new travel ban on foreign-nationals from six Muslim-majority nations.

Florida representative and former DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz was on the same flight as Ali and tweeted a picture with him, saying in the caption the he was “detained AGAIN.”

The TSA has pushed back on that assessment, pointing out that Ali was not detained and that his identity simply had to be confirmed. The ordeal took only 11 minutes, according to a TSA spokesperson.

Manci said that he will formally file a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security, which manages the TSA, and was working on filing a lawsuit, according to The New York Times.