Is This Licensing Company Trying to Scrub Muhammad Ali’s Muslim Faith from His Legacy? – Atlanta Black Star – The story, published earlier this month, noted how the late boxer’s connection to Islam is noticeably absent from the Ali brand, which is owned and managed by New York-based licensing firm Authentic Brands Group. The company, which also holds the rights to Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, and other American greats, paid an undisclosed amount for Ali’s intellectual property in 2013, Buzzfeed News reported. This included troves of photos and videos, and even trademarked phrases like “Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee.”
The licensing company, better known as ABG, also manages the Ali social media accounts. Boasting more than 876,000 Twitter followers, 2.2 million fans on Instagram and 11 million Facebook likes, the feeds now serve as the main stage for introducing the famous boxer to the next generation of Americans following his death last summer.
While his Facebook biography mentions his “early relationship with the Nation of Islam,” it doesn’t go much further than that — despite the fact that Ali was heavily involved with the Black religious organization after he converted to Islam and changed his name.