This controversial cover of the American magazine Esquire depicts the famous boxer Muhammad Ali being pierced by six arrows in the style of St. Sebastian, a third-century Christian martyr and later patron saint of athletes, who himself was thusly punished for his steadfast religious beliefs. This particular image, the second of three Esquire covers defending Ali, came in April 1968, almost a year after his refusal to be inducted into the United States Army. Convicted of violating the Selective Service Act, Ali was arrested, barred from the ring, and stripped of his title, a corruption of justice which wouldn't be rectified until 1971 when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned his conviction in the case Clay v. United States.
Publication: Esquire Magazine
Date: April 1968
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