In the days following Muhammad Ali's death, there has been an outpouring of love and remembrance as people all around the world honor the American boxing legend.
But if there's one person everyone can count on for bucking convention, it's British journalist and TV personality Piers Morgan.
After Donald Trump became the target of widespread condemnation on social media over his purported hypocrisy in praising Ali months after denying that America had any noteworthy Muslim sports heroes, Morgan jumped to the Republican presidential candidate's defense.
Muhammad Ali said far more inflammatory/racist things about white people than Donald Trump ever has about Muslims. #fact— Piers Morgan (@Piers Morgan)1465115757.0
Here's what Trump tweeted Friday after Ali's death was announced:
Muhammad Ali is dead at 74! A truly great champion and a wonderful guy. He will be missed by all!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1465014543.0
And here's what he tweeted back in December, for which he was subsequently slammed by Twitter users:
Obama said in his speech that Muslims are our sports heroes. What sport is he talking about, and who? Is Obama profiling?— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1449467431.0
@realDonaldTrump it's a hell of a field but that might just be the dumbest thing you've ever tweeted!— John Griffiths (@Griffiths_John)December 7, 2015
Ali himself even came out against Trump's December comments, issuing a statement directed at “presidential candidates proposing to ban Muslim immigration to the United States.”
“True Muslims know that the ruthless violence of so called Islamic Jihadists goes against the very tenets of our religion,” Ali wrote at the time, adding, “I believe that our political leaders should use their position to bring understanding about the religion of Islam and clarify that these misguided murderers have perverted people’s views on what Islam really is.”
It therefore wasn't surprising when Trump was universally berated after Friday's tweet celebrating Ali.
The hypocrisy of @realDonaldTrump. (via @monteiro) https://t.co/oevtzlMHua— Chris Sacca (@Chris Sacca)1465045375.0
Since Muhammed Ali was a Muslim, would Trump have barred him from entering the country?— Donald Morrison (@Donald Morrison)1465028654.0
After Morgan defended Trump, Twitter users accused the journalist of being a soulless media monger and hijacking the controversial incident as some sort of PR stunt.
@piersmorgan is clueless. Has no comprehension of black history. Unbelievable ignorance.— Steve Brookstein (@Steve Brookstein)1465126031.0
@ryanrusty3 You know being black in 1960s America was no picnic, right?— Alex Hall (@LLHallJ) June 5, 2016
Piers Morgan has been & remains a racist troll masquerading as a thoughtful, hard hitting, pseudo-journalist. #fact https://t.co/jbH8JyR3aE— Sam White (@Sam White)1465149788.0
@piersmorgan will desperately court the spotlight,even in infamy.He is such an uncouth soul.His innermost being is vain and self serving.— Super Frankie (@Super Frankie)1465201654.0
But Morgan stood by his comment, offering evidence to back up his point.
Why would stating that Muhammad Ali made a lot of inflammatory, race-charged statements in his life be remotely controversial? He did.— Piers Morgan (@Piers Morgan)1465126948.0
Why sugar-coat what Ali said or stood for? He never did that to himself, or when speaking of others.— Piers Morgan (@Piers Morgan)1465119517.0
Lots of people were hammering Trump over Ali so I pointed out that Ali said many more inflammatory/racist things. https://t.co/REAaK4VHeC— Piers Morgan (@Piers Morgan)1465158326.0
Watch this #Ali interview & imagine if it had been #Trump saying all this. Then you may understand my point. https://t.co/goZbedGz9N— Piers Morgan (@Piers Morgan)1465139442.0
No mate, there's a 'Realist'. https://t.co/4Q1T1kHrg1— Piers Morgan (@Piers Morgan)1465204284.0
Actually, Ali did want a ban on mixed-race marriage. https://t.co/Zx8yImfV99— Piers Morgan (@Piers Morgan)1465138622.0