On Saturday, the Democratic presidential candidate praised the boxing legend, and condemned prejudice against Muslims in the United States.
“Don’t tell me how much you love Muhammad Ali and yet you’re going to be prejudiced against Muslims in this country,” Sanders said in a press conference in Los Angeles.
Sanders also praised Ali for standing by his ideals, describing the boxing legend as having “incredible courage.”
“The reason that Ali struck a chord in the heart of so many Americans was not just his great boxing skill, it was his incredible courage,” he said.
“At a time when it was not popular to do so, Ali stood up and said, ‘I am opposed to the war in Vietnam and I’m not going to fight in that war.'”
Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump has come under fire for calling Ali a “truly great champion” in a Twitter post on Saturday, when last year he suggested America did not have any Muslim sporting heroes.
Muhammad Ali strongly condemned Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims entering the United States late last year. In a statement, Ali said, “We as Muslims have to stand up to those who use Islam to advance their own personal agenda.”