Interview with Edwin Pope
QUESTION 16
MADISON DAVIS LACY:

How d- well, what about other athletes of the time, I mean how's it square with other athletes at the time? They took a lot of athletes out of pretty easy.

EDWIN POPE:

I don't recall the specifics. A lot, some were rejected because football and baseball players usually had bad knees or some sort of arthritic conditions that, ah, Ali was a cause celebre though. He was a, a unique case. No other athlete used the religious issue to do it. Um, there was a basic freedom involved and those of us were unwilling at that time to deny him, unwilling to grant him the freedom of his expression, were wrong.