One month after allegedly being detained and questioned about his Muslim faith at Florida airport, the son of boxing legend Muhammad Ali says he was stopped and questioned about his identity before a flight departing from Washington, D.C.
"I'm out here trying to take care of business and I have to be harassed," Muhammad Ali Jr. told NBC Miami. "It's really bad," he said. "I mean, nobody should take this type of abuse."
Ali Jr. said he was stopped by a ticket agent at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport who said his identification was expired — he says it is not expired — and that his name was flagged and the Department of Homeland Security needed to be called.
The Transportation Security Administration said in an email that a call was made to confirm Ali's identity at the check-in counter. At the security checkpoint "his large jewelry alarmed the checkpoint scanner" and he was given a targeted pat-down to clear it, the TSA said.
Ali Jr. was allowed to board the Fort Lauderdale-bound flight. The delay came a day after Ali Jr. and his mother and his mother, Khalilah Camacho Ali, spoke to Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill about the impact of President Donald Trump's executive order that restricted entry to the U.S. of people from six Muslim majority nations.
Last month, Ali Jr.’s attorney said the he was detained for around two hours at Fort Lauderdale’s airport after being asked whether he was a Muslim. Ali Jr. and his mother were returning from a conference in Jamaica.
Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida said in a tweet that Ali Jr. had been religiously profiled.
"On way home on DOMESTIC FLIGHT Muhammad Ali Jr. detained AGAIN by @DHSgov. Religiously profiling son of 'The Greatest' will not make us safe," Wasserman Schultz tweeted, along with a picture of her and Ali Jr.
Ali Jr.'s attorney suggested to NBC Miami that the delay was due to Ali Jr.'s appearance on Capitol Hill.
"None of this was happening Wednesday," Ali's lawyer said in a telephone interview Friday afternoon as he was traveling with the Alis. "Going to Washington obviously opened up a can of worms at DHS."
The Ali The family has started the "Step Into the Ring" campaign to oppose the Trump administration's travel restrictions.