Racism & Heartbreak: Muhammad Ali’s Struggles With Racism After Olympic Win

Pro boxer was excluded from Kentucky community despite athletic success.

Winning the Olympics got Muhammad Ali to the top of the boxing world, but while he was celebrated by sports fans, racism continued to affect his life in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement.

Muhammad Ali V Henry Cooper In A Non-title Fight At Wembley Stadium In 1963.

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“People have looked at my photographs and said ‘He’s so beautiful, men and women. So many women found him irresistible,” says Muhammad photographer Peter Angelo Simon in REELZ’s new docuseries, Muhammad Ali: The Price of Fame.

While he was welcomed as a hero in the black community, he was hardly embraced in the larger Kentucky community.

“He though ‘wow, I won this gold medal, now things are gonna be different. I can go home, I can finally eat in that downtown restaurant where black weren’t allowed,’” says the boxer’s daughter, Hanna Ali.

Muhammad Ali: The Price of Fame airs Monday August 5 at 8 ET / PT on REELZ.