The summit was a seminal moment in the civil rights movement in which 12 of the nation’s top black intellectuals and athletes gathered in 1967 at a Cleveland news conference to vet and ultimately support Ali’s conscientious objection to the draft. “The moment itself would be remembered as the first – and last – time that so many African-American athletes at that level came together to support a controversial cause,” William C. Rhoden of The New York Times wrote in 2014. The heavyweight champion later would have his title stripped over his refusal to be drafted.
The limited series explores the intersection of civil rights and sports that continues to resonate today and tracks the FBI’s crusade against Ali, Jim Brown and other black leaders in the lead-up to Ali’s arrest for draft evasion at the peak of his boxing career.
Jeff and Michael Zimbalist will executive produce, write and direct the project. Brown, Monique Brown, Jeff Kirschenbaum and Joe Roth also will serve as executive producers.