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Muhammad Ali's brilliant response to being drafted in 1967 is worth repeating. Over and over.

Muhammad Ali was drafted to fight in the Vietnam War at the top of his career. He refused to go.

Muhammad Ali's brilliant response to being drafted in 1967 is worth repeating. Over and over.


Image via Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons.


"I'm The Greatest!"

Cassius Marcellus Clay told the world he was The Greatest. He was usually referring to the boxing ring, but he didn't hesitate to also embrace pride in his race and his religion, and he was more than willing to antagonize the white establishment when it began to threaten his success — or his beliefs.

Soon after rising to fame, he converted to Islam and changed his name to Muhammad Ali. Aside from his boxing achievements, Ali did something that no sports professional has done before or since: He refused to go to war when he was drafted.

Cassius Clay at an event featuring Elijah Muhammad. Image via Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons.

"My conscience won't let me go shoot my brother or some darker people or some poor, hungry people in the mud for big, powerful America. And shoot them for what? They never called me nigger, they never lynched me, they didn't put no dogs on me, they didn't rob me of my nationality, rape and kill my mother and father. Shoot them for what? How can I shoot them poor people? Poor little black people and babies and children and women. How can I shoot them poor people? Just take me to jail." — Muhammad Ali

In 1967, three years after winning the heavyweight title from Sonny Liston, he refused to be drafted into the U.S. Army due to his religious beliefs and opposition to the war in Vietnam.

Banned from boxing

For that, he interrupted a brilliant career and was banned from boxing. He was even stripped of his heavyweight title and denied a visa to fight overseas. Having no ability to work aside from what he knew best, he began speaking at colleges and universities to pay bills. Sometimes (as you'll see near the end of the clip below), he was accosted at those speaking engagements by angry white students who thought he should go fight in Vietnam.

Muhammad Ali in 1966. Image via Dutch National Archives/Wikimedia Commons.

But he didn't fight in the ring for nearly four years — and those for him were the mid-to-late 20s, the prime for a young boxer — and it's likely the threat of a jail sentence and being banned from the sport he loved even further deepened his resolve to be the greatest. In 1971, his conviction for “draft dodging" was overturned at the U.S. Supreme Court, and he went on to regain the title he had been stripped of for political reasons.

Here's a great video summary of how he looked at being drafted and why he did the unthinkable and challenged the U.S. legal system to throw him in jail for refusing to shoot "poor hungry people."

Andrew Garfield with Stephen Colbert.

Andrew Garfield came onto “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” to promote his new movie, “tick, tick… Boom.” What he gave instead was a truly touching story about love and loss, with a refreshing and relatable twist.

The sweet moment comes at the four-minute mark of the interview, where Colbert asked Garfield how playing Broadway composer Jonathan Larson (who died suddenly of a heart issue at the upswing of his creative career) helped him process the unexpected loss of his mother.

Instead of wishing the pain away, Garfield states, “I hope this grief stays with me.”

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Jimmy Fallon #MyFamilyIsWeird.

It’s that time of year again, the holiday season is when we get the pleasure of spending way more time than we’re used to with our families. For those of us who’ve moved away from our immediate families, the holidays are a great time to reacquaint ourselves with old traditions and to realize that some of them may be a little strange.

Every family seems to have its own brand of weirdness. In fact, I wouldn’t trust anyone who says that their family is completely normal.

On November 18, “The Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon gave everyone a reason to celebrate their unique families by asking them to share their favorite stories under #MyFamilyIsWeird. The responses were everything from odd holiday traditions to family members that may have a screw (or two!) loose.

Here are 17 of the funniest responses.

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