The son of boxing icon Muhammad Ali has been questioned at a U.S. airport for the second time in two months.
Muhammad Ali Jr. was stopped at Washington’s Ronald Reagan National Airport Friday, a day after he testified on Capitol Hill about the first incident at a Florida airport in February.
Questioned in Washington
Chris Mancini, Ali Jr.’s lawyer, said the legendary fighter’s son was attempting to board a JetBlue flight Friday at Reagan National when he was stopped and asked to produce identification. He produced his state-issued driver’s license, which is usually accepted, but he was allowed to board the flight only after he showed his U.S. passport.
“To me, it’s an act of retaliation, in addition to him continuing to be religiously profiled,” said Florida Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who was on the same flight with Ali Jr.
Ali Jr.’s lawyer also speculated that the detention was retaliation for his client’s appearance on Capitol Hill.
“Going to Washington obviously opened up a can of worms” at the Department of Homeland Security, Mancini said.
Transportation Security Administration officials have acknowledged that they were called in to verify Ali Jr.’s identity at Reagan National Airport.
On February 7, Ali Jr. was detained with his mother, Khalilah Camacho-Ali, the second wife of Muhammad Ali, for nearly two hours at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport after returning from Jamaica.
In Florida, officials repeatedly asked Ali, “Where did you get your name from?” and “Are you Muslim?”
Ali was born in Philadelphia.
The incidents come after President Donald Trump’s attempt to temporarily ban citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the country, citing national security concerns. The ban created chaos and confusion at airports around the world.