"I refuse to be inducted into the armed forces…"
That simple statement, made on April 28, 1967, changed Muhammad Ali from being simply the heavyweight boxing champion of the world to being a rebel, taking on the mighty United States government. His protest against serving in the Vietnam War had political, racial, and religious undertones, and it led to nationwide discussion of all of these issues. Ali's passion to speak his mind and stand up for his beliefs stood as a hallmark throughout a boxing career that spanned more than twenty years. Decades after his boxing career ended, he continued to tour the world promoting peace and spreading goodwill even as his own health deteriorated. Over the years, he truly earned the nickname he first bestowed upon himself way back in 1964 when he first won the heavyweight crown: "The Greatest."