50 years later, newspaper apologizes for ignoring Muhammad Ali's new name

Posted at 2:15 PM, Jun 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-13 17:19:49-04

Boxing great Cassius Clay's hometown newspaper refused to call him Muhammad Ali for years after he adopted the Muslim faith and changed his name.

The Courier-Journal, Louisville's daily paper, has apologized 50 years later for continuing to refer to him as Cassius Clay for years after he converted in 1964. It did not consistently refer to him as Muhammad Ali until 1970.

Ali died June 3 and an estimated 100,000 people lined the streets of Louisville to say goodbye to the city's favorite son during his funeral Friday.

Executive Editor Neil Budde wrote Monday's editorial that chronicled how the paper for years either ignored Ali's preferred name or outright mocked it. He apologized that the newspaper's "oddly hostile" unwillingness to use Ali's name "did little to help race relations in a turbulent time."