Muhammad Ali Jr., detained at airport again

Muhammad Ali Jr. detained for a second time

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- For the second time this year, Muhammad Ali Jr. said he was detained and questioned at an airport.

”It felt like I was being very harassed and I felt abused actually,” Muhammad Ali Jr. said.

WHAS11’s sister station WPLG spoke with Ali Jr. when he returned from his trip to Washington D.C. with his mother and his attorney.  He says he was stopped at the ticketing counter and only allowed to board after showing his passport.

“I'm in the United States. I'm not even overseas. Why would you even bother me when I'm trying to go back home?” He said.

Ironically, Ali Jr. was testifying in front the House's border control subcommittee about his experiences on Feb. 7.  He says coming home from Jamaica he was detained because of his religion and says it happened again today at the Reagan National Airport.

“He said I couldn't board, I couldn't get on the flight,” Ali Jr. said.

But in a statement from the Transportation Security Authority, they deny Ali Jr.'s claims that he was detained.  That statement says in part, "Upon arriving at the airline check-in counter, a call was made to confirm Mr. Ali's identity with TSA officials. When Mr. Ali arrived at the checkpoint, his large jewelry alarmed the checkpoint scanner."  The TSA says he was then pat down and cleared to board his JetBlue flight.      

Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz was on the same flight.

“There's no question that this is religious profiling,” she said.

The Democratic Congresswoman took to Twitter posting this photo saying, “Religiously profiling the son of 'The Greatest' will not make us safe.”

“I'm concerned that this is retaliation for his testimony in Washington because on the way up to D.C., no issues.  On the way back, he's suddenly detained,” Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz said.

Ali Jr. and his attorney say they do plan to take legal action against Homeland Security.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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