I ain't got nothing against no Viet Cong

I ain't got nothing against no Viet Cong
38 x 31cm
Mixed media on card. Acrylic double-tray-frame.

Muhammad Ali, who had recently changed his name from Cassius Clay, declared himself a conscientious objector and refused to go to the Vietnam war. He was subsequently denied a boxing license in every US state. Ali’s stance was clear "I ain't got nothing against no Viet Cong; no Viet Cong never called me nigger." Stripped of his titles in the US, he toured Europe, successfully defending his World Heavyweight title against Britain’s Henry Cooper. In an interview that year, the Champ explained how he got into boxing “Someone stole my bicycle and I said I was going to learn to fight so that I could catch him and beat him up. But I never did catch him. But I ended up the champ of the whole world.”

All artwork, text and images © James Straffon 2022.