Muhammad Ali Jr has been detained and questioned at a Washington airport after meeting members of congress to discuss a similar incident last month.
Ali and his mother, Khalilah Camacho Ali, had been stopped at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport after returning from Jamaica on February 7.
On Wednesday they flew to Washington without incident to speak to members of a congressional subcommittee on border security about that experience.
But attorney Chris Mancini says that when Ali attempted to board a JetBlue Airways flight home to Florida on Friday he was detained for 20 minutes.
Mancini says Ali spoke to Department of Homeland Security officials by telephone and showed his driver’s license and passport before he was allowed to board.
“None of this was happening Wednesday,” Mancini said in a telephone interview on Friday afternoon as he was travelling with the Alis. “Going to Washington obviously opened up a can of worms at DHS.”
A spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration acknowledged the agency confirmed Ali’s identity before he boarded his plane.
Spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said Ali also was patted down because his jewellery set off a checkpoint scanner alarm.
Florida Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who was on the same flight, tweeted a photo with Ali after he was allowed to board and wrote: “On way home on DOMESTIC FLIGHT Muhammad Ali Jr. detained AGAIN … Religiously profiling son of ‘The Greatest’ will not make us safe.”
The mother and son, both born in the United States, have said in interviews that they believe they have been stopped because they are Muslim with Arabic names.